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Worcester's Dictionary, 









< 'opyright, 




To E. L., 








VI. LAVATER ; OR, THE Two FACES . . . 145 



NATION ? 218 



XI. A BROKEN HEART . ... 283 




/^\UR country is steadily progressing in civil- 
ization : we mean here by civilization not 
only refinement and culture, but a better use of 
the materials about us. 

We certainly do not allude to politics : that 
flows like a river, sometimes a mirror for heaven's 
blue, and at others dark with storms ; sometimes 
it runs low and shows frightful monsters on its 
banks, and all the while the life of the country 
is steadily rising ; this life, which includes so 
much, better manners, a friendlier intercourse, 
more sensible views on religion, a better architect- 
ure and a better household art ; galleries and 
public libraries springing up everywhere ; and, by 
the help of all these, a political sagacity daily 
growing and training itself for the great work of 
the future, for the hour seems to have struck when 
the man is outgrowing the garments of the child, 


and must get himself measured for his suit of 
manhood. He has wearied long enough of his 
])iil)lic servants who traffic and dicker, and were 
at times organizing themselves into rings of 
legalized banditti. 

The bright, the happy time of a new Saturnian 
reign seems to have come. We shall soon see 
if we are to be given to the spoiler, or whether 
our genius, flexible and inventive, has not re- 
sources of adaptation and reconstruction enough 
to save us. 

But we did not intend to speak of these 
tilings or make dangerous predictions of emen- 
dution, which the lessons of the sober past 
teach us to think too sanguine. No, our inten- 
tion simply is to refer to the nation's life out- 
side of politics. That life, with all its glorious 
increase of convenience and comfort, in one 
direction nationally sins. In our enthusiasm of 
living, we forget the sources of life: AVC trust 
the brain with our feverish activity, too much 
like a kite without a string, or rather with the 
string cut across ; yet a healthy and well nour- 
ished body gives the only firm foothold for the 
gusty and liigh-llying mind. 

In Europe, the body rather outbids the mind : 
people do not particularly care to be restlessly 


active, cleverer than their neighbors, or to make 
work if they do not find it ; but they do care 
for creature-comforts ; they believe seriously in 
the dolce far niente and the body's enjoyment. 
Every Parisian shopkeeper looks forward to the 
time when, withdrawn from business, in his 
little garden in the country or suburb, he shall 
smoke his pipe with ample leisure under his 
own vine and fig-tree. Here, we only retire 
from business when the strength to continue it 
retires from us : business is our life, and, in the 
rush, we stumble over our grave before we have 
time to pull up. 

Such are some of the reasons why, here in 
America, we have neither done justice to our own 
needs or our surroundings in the matter of food. 
Nature invites us to a table magnificently 
spread, if the proper artist were there to intel- 
ligently profit by its bounty. Heaven has sent 
us its food, and the Puritan has sent us his 
cook. How that honored ancestor must have 
instinctively felt that a more cheerful larder, a 
more skilful kitchen, would disagree with the 

' */ 

ascetic and inhuman doctrines he believed in ! 
All over New England the doctrine taught by 
the Puritans is fading away ; but, alas ! their 
kitchen remains. Few of our well-fed citizens, 


who wisely and skilfully recognize the bounty 
of nature, know of the deplorable condition of 
the cooking in country towns, not so very far 
from Boston. Within twenty miles, you touch 
this dreadful atheism which spurns the gift of 
the Creator. A selfish economy may begin 
what habit and a chronic dyspepsia make a sec- 
ond nature : but it is not that ; it is not that 
money is wanting, but that the proper nourish- 
ment of the body is not believed in. Even yet, 
among these poor fellows lingers a certain 
shame in the enjoyments of the table. Duty 
may be believed in, though its inspiration 
rather comes from a frown of Mrs. Grundy than 
the true conscience. Business is really sacred ; 
but what has the contemptible body more to do 
than to take in its supply of brain stimulus 
when needful. See them at their repast in a 
country inn, moving from the despondent parlor, 
whose air is aflame with carbonic acid gas, to 
the bare and chilly dining-room, with nothing 
to encourage a generous appetite or social cheer- 
fulness. Mark their silence : even the com- 
forts of the table do not raise their spirits. 
Wine is too dear for a palate which can get out 
of no wine-bottle the money cost of it. They 
may stagger themselves, as with a blow, by a 


shock from rum or whiskey ; but they take good 
care that the blow shall be broken by no bread 
or meat, and so leave their undefended interior 
to fight out the battle for itself. 

In this matter we have no reason to be hope- 
less, because we are of English descent ; for we 
have a fineness of organization, and a delicacy 
of nerve, which make us as sensitive to animal 
as to mental enjoyment. But, on the sanitary 
side, we have much more need to be careful than 
they. They have a climate where the dull sun 
fails in its stimulus to the nervous centres, but 
one in which muscular enjoyment the pleasure 
of exercise is at its highest. We are nerve, 
they are muscle ; we run to brain, and they run 
to body : these conditions help them much. 

Yet the English kitchen never rises beyond a 
certain level : where good sense and substantial, 
wholesome food stop, it draws a line. It never 
ascends into the high aesthetic region of the 
great chefs of the French school, of the art of 
harmony, the matching and marrying flavors of 
piquant discords. Of embroidery and ornamen- 
tation, it knows little or nothing : it cannot even 
make an omelet. No provincial French peasant 
woman, in her little kitchen, but can toss you 
up in a minute a light, fragrant omelet, such 


as deserves the name, dredged with sugar, and 
branded here and there with a hot iron. Such 
an omelet has often sent the traveller on his way 
a happier man. And, in their cottages, they be- 
lieve in milk for their coffee. In the good time 
before chiccory, a table-spoonful of coffee would 
suffice for a large cup ; but such milk is not 
warm merely, but thoroughly boiled. 

When England introduces artistic work into 
her kitchen, she gets it from a French source. 
In referring to national kitchens, I mean the 
cooking of the bulk of the people. For the rich, 
in every country, get something of the best, and 
that best mostly imported. The English nobility 
live well ; for, submitting their excellent mate- 
rial to French skill, they have as good a dinner 
as can be got. Fresher fish, a better flavored 
mutton, and the national joint of beef, make the 
French envious. 

I once, in a stormy channel passage, found 
below a couple violently disputing : the pair 
consisted of a Frenchman, earnestly advocating 
the better relish and wholesonieiiess of the Eng- 
lish kitchen, while the Englishman, remember- 
ing Paris, gave wholly the superiority to the 
French cuisine. And they each had reason. 
There is a wholesomeness in plain roast and 


boiled, a stimulus to the gastric juice, and an 
enjoyment, perhaps with a touch of the cannibal 
in it, which the less simple, more complex cook- 
ing of France does not know. Yet, wholesome 
as it is, we demand a greater variety and a more 
poetic treatment. Each school has its merits 
and its faults. Vino ciboque plenum, the glutted 
Englishman will take a nap before his sea-coal 
fire, with his handkerchief over his eyes ; while 
the lively Frenchman will get up ready for the 
opera from a dozen courses, and scarcely feel 
that he has dined. His palate was tickled: 
the chemistry of dissolution was begun for him 
by the skilful cook before nature undertook it. 
The sleeping wolf within us, which tears and 
gorges, dozed through his repast. His mind is 
clear, his senses keen, for the delightful enter- 
tainment of a French evening. 

In most things the French do well, the ulti- 
mate fact is their artistic taste. It is every- 
where. It makes beautiful by arrangement the 
shop window ; it gives to the cheap shawl and 
simple dress of the grisette the grace a duchess 
may miss. Lyons could not live an hour with- 
out it ; and it easily makes the French school of 
art the first in the world. 

Their blood, running from ancestral veins, fur- 


nishes an atavism to explain this inherited grace 
and sensibility to art. And how could it be 
kept out of the kitchen in France when it is 
everywhere else? An Englishman laughs when 
he hears the word " artist" applied to the worker 
in hair or to a cook ; but, poor man, the laugh 
is rightly on the other side. The sadness, per- 
haps, even beyond that of " followers not per- 
mitted," in an English cook's life is, that her 
dull inartistic brain knows not the joy of inven- 
tion, the delight of a pursuit of the beautiful. 
Was the soul of the greatest artist ever more 
turned to lofty endeavor than when the broken- 
hearted Carenie broached himself on his own 
sword, dying thus professionally, for he had 
made the spit as noble as the sword. 

The main purpose of this paper is to deal with 
the good things of America, whether wisely or 
unwisely used, with a glimpse at our gastronomic 
future. Nature has been to us no step-mother 
She has dealt most generously by us ; and, un- 
like every other nation, we swing from latitude 
to latitude with a continental completeness in 
earth, air, and water. And this vast area is 
lut one nation. No douane, no octroi, shuts the 
door from ocean to ocean. America stands with 
her starry baldric glancing between her subject 


seas, and her brows crowned with an encircling 
garland where the pale growth of the North 
mingles with a tropical glow of a southern 
Flora ; while from her strenuous right hand, 
which holds her horn of plenty, she showers the 
fruits and produce of a quarter of the world. 
And, with lightning speed, the railway distrib- 
utes the good things of every State. Her clever 
sons are at this very moment inventing meth- 
ods for the preservation and distribution of her 
produce beyond the seas. 

Last night's " Punch ' ' shows us a cartoon of 
an English butcher tossed by an animal he never 
saw before. Up he goes from the horns of Bos 
Americanus ; but it should properly have been 
the English ox, fed with oil-cake and deterio- 
rated by rinderpest, or, rather, John Bull him- 
self, whom the newcomer should have been 
shown to be hoisting thus. England, in her old 
age, is getting pap-fed by all the young people. 
In the Pampas, she hermetically boxes the cheap- 
est beef of the world. For her, a thousand sheep 
bleat on Australian hillsides. India fetches her 
sauces and every spice, and nearer neighbors 
her butter and her eggs. And now, her saucy 
offspring invades with an ox of her own the 

precincts of the sacred animal at home. 


England sits, a little like some venerable Lear, 
above her chalky cliffs, seeing his sons gather 
samphire (" dreadful trade ") from any crevice ; 
while his prosperous daughters sometimes un- 
kindly mock their dependent parent. But, if 
Regan and Goneril should be away in the hour 
of trouble, may, like Cordelia, America be seen 
sitting at his feet, and listening, while the old 
man says, 

" I think this lady to be my child." 

Americans of delicate palates, when, after 
travel, they near our shores, are apt to talk en- 
thusiastically of the good things they expect to 
find at home. They will compare with a friend 
their preferences. One will say, " It is autumn, 
and remember our canvas-backs." 

To which the other may reply, " Won't I 
be glad to get buckwheats and fried mush 


" I will confide to you, my dear, that, as at 
the latest, we must be home by the eighteenth, 
for four successive days before that date, I have 
ordered roast turkey, our roast turkey with its 
necklace of sausages." 

" Now, do you know," in return asks her 
friend, " what I longed for the most in Europe ? " 


u Yes, I do," was the answer : " it was for one 
full glass of our delicious water." 

" Ah, dear ! that indeed is water, what they 
call so in Europe is only an infusion of lime. 
And that is why, there, it is virtuous to drink 
wine, thus escaping the evil of the lime, and 
here virtuous to drink water, escaping the evil 
of the inebriating cup." 

" Oh, how often would I have gladly ex- 
changed my bottle of champagne for a pitcher 
of iced- water, and yet we don't need water there ' 
as we do here ! ' 

" In Europe our national ill-health is attributed 
to bolting badly cooked food, which, poor as it 
is, we insult by neglect, while the brain, unsub- 
missive to its claims, is foraging for new thoughts 
when it should be quietly helping digestion ; 
but chiefly is it attributed to our too free use of 

" A distinguished physician of New York, Dr. 
Hossack, has said, that Americans have a cer- 
tain latent feverishness, a fire within, which 
drives them up and down, ever seeking the 
excitement which shall fan it into flame ; and no 
European can know how necessary, how delight- 
ful, it is to try and quench this flame with our 
ice-cold water." 


To which the other : " That is just it. Europe 
is a kind of letting down to us : our American 
harp of a thousand strings is keyed so high that 
the strings must snap, if at times they are not 
loosened in a less electric sky. It is good for us 
to go there, and it is good for us to come back ; 
but really now, do not you think our good 
things better than theirs ? Why is it that, when 
we come back, they taste so well ? ' 

" I suppose, because we belong to them, and 
they belong to us. The same influences, solar 
and terrestrial, which go to their making up are 
acting also in us. Our protoplasm within hails 
these good fellows without, and longs to make 
their acquaintance ; and for the same reason 
European good things do us good, because they 
supply to us, as Europe does, what was missing. 
In Europe we recover our ancestral selves, as at 
home we recover afterwards our Indian or 
American selves." 

And thus we have a kind of stereoscopic or 
double life, if we travel much. Somewhere 
they overlap and make to the spectator a true 
picture ; but usually there is confusion of outline, 
an unachromatic look, which makes one not 
quite a citizen of either country. Patriotism 
thins itself into cosmopolitism, and one becomes 


a citizen of every country, and of no country. 
One gets to be the inhabitant of just the place 
in which one does not find one's self. But let us 
come back to home, with that relish of its good 
things we have spoken of above, and look a 
little steadily into our larder and the larder of 
the future ; and yet, with the European side of 
us, remember also her good things, and hint 
slightly at a comparison it seems natural to 
make between the two. 

The modifications made upon animal life by 
different climates are almost too subtle to be 
followed ; but that there is such an influence is 
proved, not only by our own feelings and health, 
but by the geographer, the physician, and the 
chemist. We must leave to these latter to tell us, 
if they can, what chemical differences in compo- 
sition of the body climates produce. 

We know generally that men in the polar 
regions have need of heat-producing food, for 
life is combustion, and it requires a roaring fire 
there to keep warm. And we know that near 
the equator man can need no such food. There 
the heat, tending to feverishness and difficulties 
of the liver, demands the acid of fruits, the 
mild nourishment of rice and other vegetables, 
but little meat. 


But all the lesser degrees between 'these lati- 
tudes and the finer modifications of dry ness 
and dampness, sunshine or fog, and electrical 
activity, - - of these, as yet, the physiologist tells 
us little. But we observe that these influences 
of climate act in each place to modify the 
whole life there. Each living thing shares in it : 
the elm of England differs from the elm of 
America ; the maize of America differs from the 
maize of Lombardy. And the character and 
flavor of fish and meats is modified through the 
same principle. This difference is so slight 
that it is not much, spoken of; but it still exists. 
We see the European emigrant change hour by 
hour from his former self, and in the same way 
do animals. 

The merino sheep of Spain, the English horse, 
the camel of the desert, soon show here that 
they are not at home. In the West Indies 
sheep lose their wool ; and it is proverbial that, 
as we approach regions where carbon is less use- 
ful in food, the flavor and nourishing qualities 
of meats fall off. 

We are very apt to accuse our southern friends 
of an incapacity for good roast and boiled, 
when the fault probably lies in the quality of 
the material. But they have a cuisine of their 


own ; and any one who has enjoyed the good 
offices of one of those old-fashioned confidential 
negresses who cooked here and there so well, 
before the war, must admit that Africa as well 
as France can supply a culinary artist. 

What is this mystery of chemical adaptation 
in food between man and his environment ? 
There would seem to be no connection between 
a living creature and his necessity of being gas- 
tronomically suitable to us. A lobster thinks 
he has an independent life, and little dreams 
that the ultimate object of his existence is to 
crown a salad. And the free-born children of 
the air, the wild fowl and the plover, play- 
mates of the billow and the beach, little think 
that their tireless flights, their escapades and 
flirtations with the wave-crest of the outer deep, 
or its threaded silver as it dies along the shore, 
are, as far as concerns man, only to fetch for 
him a piquancy from wind and wave, and 
change replenishment into poetry. And, in this 
matter of adaptation, see how the scanty supply 
of this exquisite food, and all luxuries which 
bear the name of game, is managed. There 
would not be enough to go round ; and, there- 
fore, the Heavenly Caterer sees to it, that the 
laboring man, the servant, the sailor, shall be 
indifferent to its merits. 


Did it ever occur to you to think if it be ac- 
cident or no, that so many things are palatable 
and nourishing ? We eat them without think- 
ing of the fine mixtures of fibrine, gluten, and 
the flavors which run upon a scale of ascending 
pleasure ; so like, yet so unlike, to each other ; so 
artistic, that the mind enjoys them and finds for 
its perception the same word as for its relish of 
art, namely, taste. Should there not be a rever- 
ential, even a religious, recognition of these har- 
monies between the world He has made, and Man 
the lord of it, which it would be more proper 
to express than commonly we do ? Well might 
the poor Esquimaux, if they knew enough, see 
in the oil-bearing phoca, which keeps for them 
alive the lamp of life, a divine and personal 
beneficence. If they were to worship the creat- 
ure, it would be better than to bow down to 
stocks and stones. And, if we choose to see it, 
there is a divinity even in the hog. To a 
thoughtful man, this insulted but useful creat- 
ure, seems to say, " I am an after-thought." 
When the great Provider had fashioned and 
sent forth his creatures,- -those that fly and 
swim and ruminate,- -mindful of man's future 
need, lie gave these the flesh which his fire 
could make palatable ; and also gave to man a 


delight in his use of a function without which 
life would be impossible, and finding for him 
such an enjoyment that he would never be . 
tempted to neglect self-preservation. And as 
the Infinite Power contemplated the world of 
happy beings he had made, and those whose 
fate was to be serviceable to man, with no 
foreknowledge of their doom to embitter their 
little lives, we may, without irreverence, im- 
agine him to have thought, "All is good, yet 
one thing I lack : something not perishable like 
these, the use and pleasure of a moment, 
but a heat-giving food, compact and with prop- 
erties for long preservation by salt and smoke ; 
something that the trapper, the sailor, the way- 
farer can carry with them, and find much suste- 
nance in little space." 

And so this exceptional animal, so spurned, 
yet so prized, by him for whom he was made, 
came into existence. See his great generous 
body, the half of it hanging there in the mar- 
ket! Observe on what a slender line of mem- 
brane all this useful, this unique beneficence is 
suspended ! There is no waste of the precious 
fatness, only enough bone, only enough muscle, 
is there to keep together that treasure, which, 
whether salted and called pork, or smoked and 


called bacon, the working-man could not do with- 
out. If you doubt this, become a working-man 
yourself, or even that fashionable imitation of 
it, the hunter of the Adirondacks from the city. 
You will then find that the ripest game, the 
juiciest steak, cannot carry to the inner man 
that intimate conviction of merit that does this 
humble dish. 

With what pencil shall we paint the shades of 
difference in flavor between the good things of 
America and those of Europe? They almost 
defy expression. They escape the defmiteness 
of speech, and the mind's memory volatilizes 
almost as quickly as does the aroma of a dish 
fade in air. Generally, we may say that, in 
quality as meat, our beef holds its own, at the 
least, with that of England. But she surpasses 
us in mutton : her mutton flavor is truer, 
stronger, and richer. Her Southdown mutton, 
where the animal feeds upon the short saline 
grass of Beachyhead, and the neighboring 
downs, whose precipitous sides slant to the sea, 
surpasses any thing we have. So too does the 
Welsh mutton, small, gamy, and full of flavor. 
Nor is the Highland mutton of Scotland much 
behind. The French have little good mutton, 
save from the pre sale sheep, so named from 


the good quality it gains, as does the South- 
down, from being near the sea. Whether 
this comes from the sea air, or the grass there, 
I cannot say ; but it is probably owing to that 
double oxygen, which is called ozone, which 
stimulates both grass and animal. I do not 
remember that the mutton of our sea-line is 
recognized as having the superiority given to it 
in Europe. 

But our great excellence is in poultry : not 
merely did we give the turkey to Europe, but 
only here is it to be found really good. They 
do not care much for it in England ; and in 
France it is only saved from neglect by the aro- 
matic truffle, which makes it indeed a princely 

The French have good fowls and that breed, 
so large, so fat, from which the falsetto delicacy 
of the capon is made, which breed I remember 
hearing Mr. John Quincy Adams say he was 
the first to introduce here. This species we 
must place at the head of these volatile favorites ; 
but the common chicken is it anywhere so 
good as in America? 

Foreigners I have often heard admit it ; and 
yet, who of us now sees full justice done to the 
turkey, really the national bird of America, and 


one to be prouder of than that rapacious sea- 
eagle whom Audubon so discouragingly de- 
scribes. Since the wood-fire has ceased to roast, 
we hear with watering mouths of the departed 
grandeur of the Essex kitchen. There, on holi- 
day occasions, the old-fashioned cook, who had 
never heard of Paris, would, under the approv- 
ing eyes of her mistress, baste the broad breast 
of some monumental turkey, and release it after- 
wards from its revolving spit, with such a crisp 
froth of surface as coal-fire can never furnish. 
The same is recognized in Paris, where all cook- 
ing now is done by coal. There they talk of 
the good old days of the Rocher de Cancale, and 


And we alone have the wild turkey. A Cana- 
dian friend once sent me one killed a hundred 
miles beyond Toronto, so huge that the uplift- 
ing hand holding it could hardly keep it off the 
floor, and from whose hospitable breast dinners 
were carved and eaten ; its dome-like plumpness 
half concealing from the host the enjoyment of 
his guests. 

And let us admit that they have cranberries 
in Europe ; but, if you wish to know their merit, 
ask for cranberries in a country inn of our own. 
Europe dreams not of such a piquant companion 


to the turkey as a good dish of cranberries : 
each one a glittering beryl, streaming with a 
juice as beautiful to the eye as the wild acidity, 
which sugar has tamed, is delicious to the palate. 
Before we dismiss this national bird, let us pay 
our homage to that witty French lawyer who 
first brought the kitchen into literature, 
Brillat de Savarin. He not only gave us the 
reason of our enjoyment, but he garlanded the 
casserole with the flowers of wit and sentiment. 
But he had one supremely anxious moment in 

Hhis life, when in America. While boarding with 
a farmer, with two lovely daughters, near Hart- 
ford, Connecticut, which, being a Frenchman, 
of course he took care to misspell, he had the 
good fortune to kill a wild turkey. He soon 
became silent, absorbed, and unhappy. He 
confessed to a grave ' responsibility, how ad- 
equately to serve up a morceau of such impor- 
tance, and he had reason, for at that day prob- 
ably, no Connecticut farmer's wife would be 
careful enough of her roast, to give a French- 
man confidence. 

It is in the game course that we are strong 
also. Not only does the canvas-back, with a 
bit of celery in its bill, swim a crowned queen 
of its watery world ; but having a longer coast- 


line than other countries, running through more 
differences of heat and cold, we have a greater 
variety of shore birds. To know how many and 
how good they are, you must dine at Taft's in 
September : he says that on a particular occa- 
sion he once gave a dinner with birds from every 
State in the Union. His greatest effort that I 
have witnessed was the supper he gave to the 
New York Yacht Club, by invitation of the East- 
ern Yacht Club. Of course a supper of so many 
plates could not be like that of a small party : it 
was a tour de force, a case of a pen pres. The 
quality of a plover or a snipe cannot be trifled 
with ; it is perfect or it is nothing : and our New 
York guests confessed that Mr. Taft won laurels 
where others would have only reaped disgrace. 
" Alas ! ' said they, " we can never have such a 
hotel for game as his near New York. In the 
season it will be vulgarized by gamblers, and 
brutalized by roughs." 

The reason of Mr. Taft's success is, that he 
believes in game ; he is a sportsman as well as a 
caterer and a cook : he presides at the cooking, 
and this is always done by a wood fire. He 
observes his patients, watch in hand, till they 
are cults d point. He is an authority at Shirley 
which none disputes. He once laid down the 


law to Agassiz de haut en bas, and said, " You 
will find the golden plover the best bird we 
have ; " and, with the bird in his mouth, Agassiz 
could make no denial. But the genius of 
Mr. Taft stops with his meats and fish. His 
accessories are of a cheap New England sort : 
his bread is poor, his pickles virulent, and his 
butter, " oh ! breathe not its name " in 
Philadelphia. Let a grateful city urge him to 
reach perfection where it is so easy. To con- 
clude with a compliment, Europe has no such 
sea-side hotel, with its affluence of game from 
so long a line of shore, and all intelligent for- 
eigners who have dined there confess as much. 

To come back to the larder. Fish are said to 
furnish phosphorus to the brain. Mr. Agassiz 
told me that the great chemist, Gay-Lussac, 
from experiments, was satisfied of the fact, and 
I believe other experiments corroborate this 
belief. Doubters immediately say : " Are then 
fishermen, who chiefly subsist on fish, so supe- 
rior in brains to other people ? ' If they are 
not, the answer may be, that perhaps they eat 
too much fish ; or do not eat enough of other 
food to keep the balance right. 

One notices that some persons eat fish every 
day ; others are indifferent to it ; and some 


never eat it at all. May not this be owing to 
the greater or less demand for phosphorus to 
supply the brain? At all events, fish constitutes 
a part of our subject-matter. 

There is no better fish-market than ours. 
Though we may miss the lordly and firm turbo t, 
the familiar and pleasant sole, the flaky and per- 
fumed mullet, we have all that is necessary 
abundantly. Our mackerel are the best that I 
have met with. The halibut is almost wholly 
our own, for it is rarely found with the foreign 
fish-monger. We have not the fresh-water eel, 
which is so much prized, and so large, in France. 

Our salmon, abundant only in the northern 
states, seems quite equal to the best Scotch 
salmon ; though it is by no means so common a 
fish here as in Great Britain. We are even 
supplied with it from California ; but, if we may 
judge of it in its condition from the ice-box, 
that is not so highly flavored as our own. The 
rivers of Nova Scotia and Canada furnish it to 
us abundantly. The waters there are strictly 
preserved, and our Izaak Waltons profit by this ; 
and for a round sum enjoy, in our summer 
months, the sport of catching this royal fish. 

If the salmon be the king of the piscatory 
tribe, the trout the sea-trout especially is a 


prince near the throne. It is to be remarked 
that salt seems as necessary to make good flesh 
for the fish, as for man and other animals. The 
difference between the flavor of sea and fresh- 
water trout, and the salmon just from the 
ocean, and after a long stay in a river, is so 
great as to be distinguished at once. A sea- 
trout from the Cape, and fresh caught, perfumes 
the room in which it is eaten. 

But our chief fish, from which our sickle-like 
Cape got its name, is excellent. And when its 
head and shoulders are eaten with oyster sauce, 
by many it is preferred to any other fish. Its 
flesh, is perhaps, not so firm as that of the 
English cod, and this leads me to make a gen- 
eral remark ; I think there is something which 
tends to make flesh of all creatures here more 
delicate and softer than is the case in Europe. 
My own experience tells me so ; though I have 
never heard it mentioned by another. Not only 
is the quality of all flesh that is eaten of finer 
grain ; but I think the law also applies to the 
human race. I think the flesh of men and 
women here has a tendency to be more delicate 
and finer than that of European races. This 
has something to do with the refined beauty of 

our women ; as also has another circumstance. 


The bony structure of animals here seems slen- 
derer, slighter, than that of the same creatures, 
man included, in Europe. Our hands and feet 
are smaller ; our jaws narrower ; the nose gen- 
erally more delicate in its outline than is the 
case there. Our horses, cattle, and sheep seem 
smaller than they are abroad. It may be that 
the quickened electric life, receiving its stimulus 
from the sun, spends itself at the expense of the 
body's bulk. 

We may be told, " There is the mammoth : do 
you call that a diminished creature ? ' Europe 
also has the mammoth, and I suppose it is quite 
as large as ours. But this fineness of the meat 
that is eaten here, Americans think, plays a 
great part in the excellence of their game-birds, 
while flavor is not wanting. Fish, flesh, and 
fowl, all have something to say to the same 
effect ; and indeed the rule apparently extends 
through all living things. Our trees have not 
the bulk and fulness of foliage of English trees : 

o o 

and the flower-shows of London exhibit our 
rhododendrons, kalmias, and azaleas, larger and 
richer colored than we see them here. This fact, 
if true, is so interesting, that I think it will be 
worth while for our physiologists and students 
of natural history to ascertain its accuracy. 


Before we dismiss the subject of fish, I would 
take leave of it by reference to two species both 
so welcome at the table, the smelt and the 
Spanish mackerel. Though the smelt is known 
in Europe, it is nothing like so good as here. 
It is comparatively insipid. It seems to need 
our electric cold, the snap of our clear winter 
weather, to make it the delicacy we so love. 
The Spanish mackerel, of late only a visitor to our 
Northern shores, for in the Vineyard, Sound, 
and near Newport, it is quite abundant, is 
the trout of the sea. It has the same beauty of 
form, the same spots upon its skin, and its ex- 
quisite and fine flesh hint also that it is of 
royal lineage. The extension of its area lately 
calls to mind, that Agassiz told us that the range 
of space occupied by fishes is not so large as 
we might think, even where there is no barrier 
to prevent their moving farther if they please. 
This range, we suppose, is determined by their 
feeding ground : if that moves, they move with 
it. Probably that is the case with the Spanish 
mackerel, and certain other fish which have 
become emigrants ; and we alone have a shad 
worthy of the name. I shall not stop to say 
more of fishes. I will not be seduced by the 
odor of the frittura. Our abundant and excel- 


lent pan-fish, the perch, and the flounder shall not 
detain me ; neither shall the unforgotten tenants 
of our lakes, the gigantic trout of the lakes of 
Maine ; or the capital white fish of our great 
chain of inland waters. 

For the larder of the future, I would like to 
make a suggestion. In these Saturnian days, 
our new departure for another era of good feel- 
ing, when, let us hope, the scars of war are 
healing, the bounty of our land should be better 
understood and developed. There are commis- 
sions and bureaus to manage by division the 
great national domain. Why should there not 
be one for food and produce ? 

Each State now is furnished with its geologist 
to give an account of its mineral treasures, and 
could we not have one of food which should 
give its account also, not only of the produce of 
its fields, the number and quality of its cattle, 
its better or worse adaptation for the growth of 
the farm and the garden, but supplement it all 
by a search for hidden treasures of the table, 
either undiscovered or unappropriated until 

It should ascertain the effect of the climate 
and soil on imported cattle, the greater or less 
success of agriculture, horticulture, pisciculture, 


in each locality, and the probable chance for the 
introduction and discovery of new forms of food 
for man. 

America must hide away many treasures be- 
sides gold and silver. The crude table of the 
countryman, the western or southern farmer, has 
had neither desire nor use for such luxuries, if 
found, until now. Nor if they had, was the 
government furnished with the means of ac- 
complishing any addition to our scanty supply 
of creatures, vegetables, sauces, or relishes, 
which is a substantial increase of human happi- 

A Frenchman has said of America playfully, 
" It has a hundred religions, and but a single 
sauce." There is enough truth in it to make us 
desire to have these furnishings for this world 
and the next, balance more equally. 

A few years ago, mushrooms were not in our 
market, neither were Brussels-sprouts, artichokes, 
scallops, the oyster of the cape, nor even the 
tomato ; till Agassiz noticed it, the American 
turbot was unknown. It is fortunate for this 
fish that it has his authority for calling itself a 
turbot, for it is widely different in size and 
flavor from its English namesake ; but it is a 
good fish, however called. 


France considers her perfumed truffle a jewel 
among condiments. Capons and turkeys stuffed 
with it become royal dishes. But the true 
gourmet best loves it in its simplicity, boiled 
like a potato, and served whole in a snowy nap- 
kin, and eaten with bread and butter : this gives 
it its full importance. But it is only good when 
fresh : served in restaurants, it is apt to be the 
leavings of days before, and then it is tasteless, 
resembling black cork. The best truffles in the 
world come from Perigord in France, not far 
from the Mediterranean, near Marseilles. It is 
about the size, generally, of a middling potato, 
jet black with a rough surface. Dogs are trained 
to find it in the forests of Perigord. There has 
been a great increase of late years in the pro- 
duction of this dainty, just as the world might 
have feared a falling off. The history of this 
increase is curious. The birth of this tuber, the 
truffle, was a mystery. It was simply known 
to be unearthed by dogs, hogs, or accidentally 
by men. The seed of it could not be procured 
for propagation, and all attempts to grow it 
failed ; but a certain peasant was noticed grow- 
ing rich by the sale of truffles. He was so 
watched and surrounded that he consented at 
last to tell his secret. His neighbors profited 


by this, and became rich in their turn. His 
secret was this. After watching long the be- 
havior of truffles, he discovered that they chiefly 
were found under one species of tree, I forget 
which ; so he planted this tree, and the truffles 

The French government has deigned to notice 
this industry, and encourage it. How many 
times the production of this delicious comestible 
has multiplied from the old supply, it is difficult 
to say, the increase is so rapid. It pa} r s so well 
that it supersedes, where it succeeds, every thing 
else. Thus France doubly gains, by the increased 
supply of a favorite dainty and also much useful 

Germany has a truffle, so has Italy. Hers is 
of a light brown color, and, though good, much 
inferior to the truffle of Perigord. 

America, one would think, must possess this 
treasure ; with so many climates, such forests 
everywhere, this black diamond must be some- 
where hidden. Would it not be well for our 
Food Bureau to ascertain the facts of its cul- 
ture, import men and dogs to hunt for it, and, 
if necessary, plant the French tree, which is the 
fidus Achates of this mysterious stranger? 

Delicious wild mushrooms we have, and of 


late the cultivated, but is that all we are ever 
to know of the fairy-like race of fungi ! Italy 
possesses a dozen or two varieties, all eatable, 
and we do have or could have quite as many. 

The word " toadstool " scares people from at- 
tempting a discovery. But an expert could 
soon settle the matter. 

It is a great advantage for supply, that we 
are a continent, yet one country ; and our enter- 
prise fetches from the four quarters, as its sea- 
son commences, many a good thing. We know 
when the spring is coming along in Florida by 
the shad and early pea we see on our table. 
We know when the ice has disappeared in Can- 
ada, for the salmon comes to tell us. Bermuda 
writes her latitude upon the early potato. Even 
California makes a long arm, and drops into our 
hand her peaches and her pears. Kentucky 
thinks nothing of hanging her fresh mutton in 
Faneuil Hall market, and no change from ice or 
muffling snow can prevent the grouse of the 
prairies, the venison or wild turkey of western 
forests, from reaching us uninjured. 

Europe knows nothing of this. Her little na- 
tions jostling and keeping each other off with 
octroi and douane, forbid such interchange of 


America has great advantages, and it is our 
duty not to neglect them : it is, above all, our duty 
to try and reach the national kitchen and teach 
it improvement. We must take time to under- 
stand arid believe in this chemistry by fire, for 
it will give a better chance to the coming man. 
We must take time to eat, and time to digest 
our food, and then we shall know something of 
the ample and generous larder with which a 
beneficent Father has favored us. 





" TTAVE you ever been in the Adirondacks? ' 
" No ? Then your life is a mistake." 
"We none of us knew what we had been missing 
until we got there. In a certain sense, and an 
important one, we then discover what is the 
America we live in. We had known our At- 
lantic Ocean as overlooked from headland and 
bay on its sinuous shore. We had known NCAV 
England's rural village, its street, checkered 
with elm shadows, and those meadow, or hill- 
side walks, so important a part of what we call 
"living in the country." 

But the Adirondacks are quite another affair. 
There you do not visit Nature, you are envel- 
oped by her. You lie on her breast, and her 
arms are around you. She mixes your blood with 
the balsam of her caresses. All that she loves 
her happy solitude, the floor of glassy lakes, her 
woodland song and odors, she gives to you. By 
the seashore, which is ever whispering, " Come 
back to Mother England : you are her child," 


we have a divided affection, but in the Adi- 
rondacks, we are wholly American. No trick 
of the old civilization is here. No imported 
habit, no daily custom, borrowed from a sun- 
less land, here exists. It is America to the 
core. It takes up your half-European nerves 
and makes a home for them, where every sight 
and sound repels the alien mixture. 

No forest of Arden but the one which Shak- 
speare visited, can match these poetic solitudes. 
Jaques is sure to be there, and Audrey, and 
Touchstone, " though with a difference : ' here, 
they are called hunters and trappers, and their 
mother wit could give long odds to any past- 
ure-fed wags of the low countries. They are 
on their native heath, and their name is Mac- 
Gregor. But for the king and his court, I fear 
the best we can get, will be merchant princes, 
those kings of Cocaigne. And I fear all our 
courts can do for us is to furnish not courtiers, 
but lawyers. Alas ! I suspect the penknife of 
America has scored upon tree-trunks other verses 
and another name than those of Orlando. 

England rubs the rust off her members of 
Parliament and her city men in Scottish high- 
lands. And our jaded merchants, or the bar- 
nacles of our city clubs, do the same in our 


highlands, the Adironacks. They tell me that 
the city so empties itself now into the forest, 

" The trail of the cockney is over it all." 

Some fifteen years ago, when I was there, it was 
still a virgin region. Its great simplicity easily 
swallowed any intruder, and he was lost in it. 
I have lived for nearly a fortnight there by a 
lake, with only one habitation within ten miles. 
It is this privacy of the woods, all our own, 
which is their greatest charm. 

We should have been jealous of any rival. 
Those long leagues of waters, those crimsoning 
mountains, that hyacinthine arch of sky, were 
all ours, with none to dispute our possession. 
If we analyze the many sources of our satisfac- 
tion there, we shall find that this undisturbed 
and imaginary ownership of all counted for a 
great deal. 

We could well spare any display, or the lux- 
ury of home comforts, having such a royalty. 
In the city, beautiful furniture and spacious 
rooms we might have ; but what a pitiful king- 
dom in extent it was, some thirty by ninety 
feet ! Here the boundary of our estate was the 
circling wall of the horizon only ! 

Once when I visited with a party, we had the 


great good luck to go there in October. It was 
the time of our own Indian summer. Where 
can it be so felt and enjoyed as in the Indian's 
country, for whom it was made ? That is the 
time when all things in America are at their 
best. The mosquito and the sand-fly have dis- 
appeared. No smoky cloud of smudge pollutes 
the breathless air. Like eagles, the winds have 
flown to some high nest, and a celestial calm 
takes their place. It is the time of the hunter. 
The poor deer no longer sinks, when shot, in the 
lake, but floats buoyant in his long hair. 

The travelling ducks dip downward to try 
these wells of the wilderness, and there slake 
their thirst for water. And the heat, sufficient 
at mid-day to warm us as if we were a pear on a 
garden wall, is mild enough to leave morning 
all its freshness, and give to the cooling even- 
ings the comfort and glory of whole tree-trunks 
of flame, whose dying embers warm for us the 
night through and through. At such a season, 

o o o 

the guide can tell his tale of adventure beside 
our forest fire-place, and sleep comes to us after- 
wards close and deep, as the feverish summer is 

Our preparations for camp life were ample. 
One of the party had been there before, knew 


what it was necessary to leave as well as what 
to take, and, besides, he had a passion for prepa- 
rations and packing. A genius of this sort is 
invaluable where compactness is every thing. 
We had a serviceable tent, which was lent us for 
the ladies ; but the men were expected to sleep 
as they could. Through the skill of our guide, 
we either improvised a sufficient shelter, or like 
cuckoos took possession of the nests of others ; 
for the wilderness keeps open house. 

We had the metal plates and all needful 
things for meals, breakfast and dinner service, 
but not a bit of crockery ! 

Of course, as food, we brought only the plain- 
est things, flour, salt, and butter, pepper, 
but no relishes, beyond a jar or two of English 
pickles. In one important particular, we were 
exceptionally fortunate : the piece de resistance 
in the forest is pork. I am tempted here to a 
disquisition on the hog ; but, as I have relieved 
myself of it elsewhere, I will spare the reader. 
But I must notice this, as the appetite changes 
with its habitat, its need and relish of food 
changes. This permanent picnic, this life in the 
open air, craves something which pork supplies, 
and which no dainty in the world could. 

We took no dainties, or if we did, did not dis- 


turb them. Our sherry we left untasted in its 
bottles, but honest whiskey we never despised. 

The forest provides its own larder. There 
was always a buck hanging by the heels near 
the camp, and trout were rarely wanting. We 
imitated the bad practice of the Irish, who after 
ruining their own at home, are now ruining our 
fishing, hanging great lines in the sea with a 
thousand cruel, baited hooks depending. This 
not only catches and kills the too young fish, 
but it scares away the larger ones. Though a 
law passed in time could have stopped this, our 
fishermen, who used only the hook and line, were 
like all Americans too amiable to protest beyond 
grumbling a little. But I suppose we must sub- 
mit to our new Ireland on the water, as we are 
losing our new England on the land. 

So the guides swung their death-hooks to set 
lines, and our breakfast was the better for it. 
Rods we took, guns of course, and a heavy bal- 
last of shot and bullets. But our bother was 
bait : there is every thing else in the woods but 
worms, as we either are or furnish them food 
by civilization ; without these, they cannot exist. 

Our circular tin-box, a foot long and half as 
wide, whose top was pierced with little holes to 
admit air and water, was cared for as a very 


precious thing. As to dress, we already knew 
that for wild life a woollen overshirt is the only 
wear : with bars of color, it may even be beauti- 
ful ; but its pride is in making a cockney look 
like a trapper. With the sure taste American 
ladies have for the harmonies of things, ours 
reflected the crimson woods in their petticoats, 
and carried off that color in their hats crowned 
with scarlet berries. What relates to the kitchen, 
what relates to the chase, excepting guns, the 
guides provide. The frying pan and the grid- 
iron have more to do there than the spit. Eggs 
keep now as they never used to do. My driver 
to Moosehead Lake was an egg-merchant: he 
kept his method of preserving them a secret; 
but to show its worth he told me that, after buy- 
ing up a lot from neighboring farms, he sent 
them to Boston to sell. There was no demand 
for them, so he exported them to California. 
They met there with the same indifference ; so, 
being reshipped to Boston the next spring, they 
sold very well. Ours had this advantage of the 
lime-water treatment ; and, in spite of what peo- 
ple may think, condensed milk is richer in coffee 
than cow's milk. 

Our party had shown pluck in sticking to the 
appointed day of departure. After a dry sum- 


mer, it began to rain ; nor was there any let up 
for a fortnight, and into that time the whole wet 
of the season was packed. We were true to our 
mutual promise, and were rewarded for it ; for, 
after the storm passed away, faultless autumnal 
weather set in. But for ladies to start on such 
a trip in a driving storm astonished some of 
their friends. " You will never arrive ; all your 
things will be wet ; the mud will prevent your 
moving about ; and when you are there you will 
only get pork to eat," vainly croaked these birds 
of ill omen : our wills and faces were set to go, 
and every thing turned out for the best. The 
rail slid us through in a day to Lake Champlain ; 
and, ere night, by steamer and coach we were at 
Keesville. The storm there was strong enough 
to get through the ceiling of one of our bed- 
rooms, and sprinkle which then seems a deluge 
the sleeper. Nothing daunted, the next day 
we set off for the lower Saranac in one of those 
generous country wagons, and such a spanking 
team as puts gayety into the heart of the excur- 

Though the storm lasted for many days, it did 
not rain always. The curtain would lift, and 
chase as with silver the gleaming frets of the 
swollen Ausable. Tahaus, for a moment, would 


throw off his hood and look down on us. For 
a moment, we glanced up the long aisles of the 
dripping woods ; getting a peep of a clearing 
beyond, with its stumps looking almost like 
wheat stacks, and the settler's house, with its 
smoke blue against the pines. 

Our horses didn't seem to mind the mud; 
nor did we. It was very juicy, but very jolly. 
Before we got to Martin's, there was plenty of 
thunder and lightning. Evening had come, the 
storm closed in, and so it was doubly dark. 
Our guide-post was the lightning. When it 
flashed, we profited by it to see our road ; and 
scampered along till the next flash showed us 
we were not yet quite among the stumps. In 
an instant, the glare etched against the darkness 
every particular of the whole landscape. A 
straggling fence, a hundred trees, films of moun- 
tain, and the puddles beside the road, were, so 
to say, burnt into the brain in a second. If a 
cart, going at a round pace, passed before the eye, 
it seemed to stand still; we could see all the 
spokes : the reason is, the lightning was swifter 
than the cart ; and its impression, like an instan- 
taneous photograph, catches things on the jump. 
The photograph of men running shows us their 
legs thrown higher than we ever see them. 


Mark Twain remarked to me, that lightning 
throws no shadows : the reason I suppose is that 
it devours while creating them. 

At length, with a rush we came dashing under 
Martin's covered doorway and stopped. In- 
stantly, one of our horses reeled and fell dead. 
Poor fellow ! He did not fail us, till perhaps he 
felt that his service was no longer wanted. We 
shook ourselves out of our wet clothes, and 
dined cheerfully. Apparently, there were no 
people in the house but clergymen. I have 
often noticed the same thing in Switzerland. 
At Lucerne's table d'hote, you may see opposite 
you an Alpine line of white chokers, and you 
almost fancy you hear them say to the waiters, 
" Dearly beloved." These play-grounds of Eu- 
rope and America authorize a harmless dissi- 
pation, where the world permits them so few. 
They escape out of their parish routine into the 
freedom of Nature. These mountain play- 
grounds, this summer vacation, is as the year's 
Sabbath. Overworked and fatigued, they get 
then rest, refreshment, and a store of good 
thinking for the future. Civilization, which 
lives by consuming men's lives, is made possible 
through such reservoirs of recuperation as Swit- 
zerland and the Adirondacks. Yearly we shall 


profit by them more, for we shall need them 

Every moment hoping to see the rain stop, 
after a row on the lower Saranac, to get a taste 
of what we came for, we were off for Bartlett's. 
This burly inn-keeper resides in a comfortable 
house near the upper Saranac, and is a power 
in the forest. He has his henchmen who do his 
bidding. He desired to sweep us into his net, 
to assume the management of our party. After 
the storm had continued two days more, and he 
thought the weather had softened the ladies' 
hearts, as it had the ground, he put his foot 
down and tried to make an impression. 

" The men '11 do it well enough, I guess ; but 
t'aint no use talkin' to you delicate critters 
'bout goin' up to Long Lake. Yer ain't used to 
it. And if yer get out there you'd only sog 
round a bit, make believe yer like it, and then, 
if you can find a dry place, you '11 sit down and 
cry. Why, the mud '11 be up to your waist. I 
tell you, yer ca-a-arit do it. Now you just stay 
here and be comfortable, and when it clears up 
I '11 row you round Tuppur's Lake. You '11 
like it fust rate." 

He got no reply ; but a whisper like " pig ' 
floated through the air. 


Those plucky ladies ! " They bated not one 
jot of heart or hope," but bravely adhered to 
our plan. Such firmness and courage deserved 
the reward which they soon got. After a day or 
two, a manly figure, a face resolute but sweet, 
suddenly showed themselves. With that ap- 
pearance was bound up the success of our enter- 
prise. When he came, we felt the sun could not 
be far behind. And instantly, as if per contract, 
the great luminary shouldered the clouds aside, 
and stood laughing down at us. Even 
was melted. " Just you stay one day more, and 
we '11 have a grand hunt with all the dogs." " I 
mean to," quietly replied the new-comer, whom 
we had caressed and welcomed in a way that made 
Bartlett understand our mutual relations. Our 
deliverer, and hero of the woods, was protector 
and friend to us for a month of such thorough 
enjoyment that his name shines with lustre in 
our memory. It was Robert Fulton, guide of 
Long Lake, and he was no dishonor to his greater 
namesake. Knowing all that the woods teach, 
practised in invention and contrivance, kind, 
steady, wise, and brave, we soon believed in him 
with the same reliance through these woodland 
leas, that dependent passengers acquire for some 
captains of our ocean steamers. Bartlett's prop- 


osition to give us a day's hunting was so sec- 
onded by the lovely weather, and our delight to 
escape into the air, that it was a brilliant success. 
The woods had been undisturbed for at least a 
fortnight, and the deer came out like ourselves 
to enjoy the fine weather. Bartlett posted us at 
different points; appointing for each a hunter, 
and distributing his pack of hounds. I was 
placed where two tongues of land nearly united, 
with shallow water between. Then, for the first 
time, I heard that music of the hounds which 
Shakespeare must have enjoyed in Warwickshire 
when a boy, as looking over the hedge he saw 
the hunt sweep by. His lines in Midsummer 
Night's Dream betray the memory of the ear 
as well as imagination. Then could I as he 
did : 

" Mark the musical confusion 
Of hounds and echo in conjunction. 


. . . Never did I hear 

Such gallant chiding ; for, besides the groves, 
The skies, the fountains, every region near 
Seemed all one mutual cry : I never heard 
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder." 

And there was meaning in the music. At 
first the dogs ran up the mountain, and their 
track was marked by a perspective of sound. 


Then finding the deer, there was exultation in 
their cry ; and I knew it was making for the lake 
by the increasing swell and loudness of the 
barking. Having heard of the " buck fever," I 
quietly waited for it to show itself. While 
standing still, with the shame of an expectant 
murderer, the wood in front seemed to open. 
A vision of grace and beauty came dancing 
along with glancing horns and a derisive smile. 
That contemptuous smile was fatal to the buck ; 
for, as he swept by, I put a bullet through his 
head, and he fell in his tracks. 

After sketching him, while busy with another 
drawing, Bartlett came up. Seeing us so tran- 
quil, he said eagerly : " Where is the deer ? 
Didn't you hear a gun? H 'aint the dogs bin 
by ? I suppose then t'was t'other feller's gun I 

Turning to my companion, I said : " Certainly 
we heard the dogs, and I think the gun too, 
didn't we ? Mr. Bartlett, will you be good 
enough to hand me my pencil-case. You will 
find it just beyond that bush." When there, he 
started back, exclaiming : " Good gracious, what 
a buck ! ' Not appreciating the diffidence I 
thought I showed after my success, when talk- 
ing it over Bartlett remarked : " There was a 


chap here from Boston who killed a deer, and 
I tell yer, he felt as big as a four-acre lot." 
Later in the day, Bartlett killed a buck him- 
self, and he showed what he thought the right 
way to express his triumph. He bragged out- 
rageously, and so embroidered the truth that 
we almost thought he had not killed any thing. 
Each of us men killed a buck that day, and it 
was best so, for such satiety of luck put us at 
peace with ourselves. And afterwards we took 
things coolly. 

The next day, with our six guides, each one 
rowing a boat, the last one looking after a 
larger boat which held our traps, we took a 
cordial leave of our landlord (for the previous 
day's success had smoothed all irritation between 
us), and made directly for Long Lake. We 
struck the shore not far from the place where 
one day we had vaiixly fished in the rain. And 
leaving the upper Saranac, we crossed to the 
Racquette by Indian Carry. I remember the 
Indian, for there was a famous story told us of 
an Indian chief, the mound of whose grave we 
saw about midway ; but I seem to think the 
Carry was only our old acquaintance, a horse 
and cart. But whether or no it be so, we had 
the real thin^ afterwards. I remember a terri- 



ble carry, up hill and down dale, over which 
it was my fate to have a sack of potatoes, 
swinging from the shoulder. As the ground 
was more or less oozy, this sack would jerk to 
right and left, as if some one were pulling me 
back. After that experience, I never doubted 
any stories I had heard of carries. 

When we had passed the ferry, Fulton dis- 
played his flotilla ; consisting of six boats, such 
as are in general use in the Adirondacks. They 
are light yet strongly built boats, some twenty 
feet long, and the pleasantest way of using 
them is to lie half reclining at full length, with 
wraps under you over which are placed elastic 
boughs curving upward of the fragrant balsam 
fir. You thus carry the woods with you as you 
go. And there is health as well as fragrance in 
their pressure. The attitude, the drowsy click 
of rowlocks, the whispering swirl of the reced- 
ing water, are all favorable to indolence and 

Life clothes itself in poetic bliss. The body 
is no burden. Its muscles sleep. Thought and 
will are at rest, while, before tranquil but not 
unobservant eyes, Nature unrolls for us the 
panorama of the wilderness. 

Yet this gliding tranquillity does not equal 
3 D 


what I remember at Moose River in Maine. 
There, in the evening, looking out for moose, 
we floated over the crimson lustre, as our 
soundless birch canoe glided like some silent 
cloud across that mimic sky. 

We hung secure, and shot past the uprooted 
tree, the bellowing bull-frog, as does a bird on 
balanced wings. 

But, in the Adirondacks, a stronger boat is 
needed. Intersected as the woods are there 
with rivers on which, like pearls, great lakes 
are strung, a country which reminds one of 
the Brazil which Mrs. Agassiz describes with 
arapes (water-roads) everywhere, these boats 
are the cabs of the wilderness. 

The sense of progress without effort, a beauty 
which stoops to you and is not hunted for, 
flatters our pride and complacency. And the 
vagueness of the forest, where rises no shattered 
tower, where no historic sight awakes the slum- 
bering mind, well matches the vagueness of our 
dreamy pensiveness. At evening we arrive un- 
jaded, and the fatigue of a walk only refreshes 
us. Our minds are so lost in dream that on one 
occasion a lady of our party lifting her lashes, 
as at evening the day's journey ended, and the 
boat without a jar touched the shore, beheld a 
familiar figure looking towards her. 


" All," she thought, " then I am not in the 
happy Adirondacks, but still moving along 
Broadway ! This city acquaintance makes it 
but too evident." 

Our first camp was full of interest to us. The 
river on which we had been, had for its name 
a suggestive French one, reminding us of French 
Jesuits, and the lonely rivers which run through 
the picturesque pages of Mr. Parkman, the his- 
torian. It was called the Racquette. Upon its 
bank, our guides began to cut long saplings for 
the four posts of the ladies' tent. The larger 
and longer ones in front, to which soon was 
attached a sloping roof of canvas, and three 
sides only. But the axe never tired of waking 
the echoes of the forest. Great trees fell, the 
equilibrium of their divided mass so understood 
that they dropped just where the guide wanted. 
Soon there was a film of blue against the green, 
the crackle of flames, the laughter of the burn- 
ing wood. Before such a hearth, within walls 
of such majestic verdure, our eggs, our venison 
steaks, our slices of pork, became a banquet. 
And when, as the dark deepened, the stars came 
out to look at us, this ceiling of stars which 
Egypt loved to imitate, so beautiful yet so lofty, 
allowed the smoke of our cigars to rise unim- 


peeled ; nor, if it listened, did it send back any 
echo of our laughter and merriment. 

We slept well, though once a shriek rang 
through the forest. We had instructed the 
ladies, if in trouble, to call us by an imitation 
of the call of the Indians, a cry interrupted by 
quickly covering the mouth with the palm. 

Our alarm was received with shouts of laugh- 
ter. It was merely an experiment to discover 
how the Indian call would work if needed. 

If evening and night were delightful, morning 
was not without its charm. Our dressing-room 
gave us abundant room for our toilette. Our 
faucet turned on a whole river at our service ; 
and, if our ladies cared for cosmetics, the best 
and wholesomest the world could offer them was 
there, and it was called Morning Blush. Then 
first appeared America's masterpieces in india- 
rubber ; and to procure which light, firm, unodor- 
ous ewers and basins, two or three lives were 
sacrificed before the chemistry which brought 
perfection was reached. 

Then the walk in the woods before breakfast ; 
for we must have one, be it ever so short, though 
Fulton remonstrated, and the saucepan beguiled 
us with its sorcery. What an aromatic air-bath 
it was, and the sympathetic silence of those 


endless woods. The air was blithe and bonny, 
and our steps were elastic. And here is the 
secret of our unexplained satisfaction in living, 
and here is the secret, too, of the gain the invalid 
finds in that mountain air. It is not only the 
free life, but the quality of the air also. Men 
of science tell us of the mysteries of ozone, 
meaning the increasing presence and energy of 
oxygen. The city has the least, the seaside the 
most of it. But nearer the latter than the for- 
mer is the energy of ozone amid wooded moun- 
tains. The low-lying meadow has not much of 
it ; but all the Adirondacks is raised many 
hundred feet above the ocean level. 

This is why the citizen, fatigued with his 
long winter, instinctively seeks the seaside and 
the mountains. As the poor are denied facili- 
ties of locomotion, Christian society has already 
discovered its duty to those who languish in 
towns through the summer heat. And it is a 
charity better than money to furnish them with 
access to these reservoirs of strength. Any one 
who has seen with what joy these wilted plants 
at Nahant drink in its living air, will not forget 
to do his share of the duty to little children. 
Their pallid faces glow in the sea breeze ; and, as 
some kind-hearted lady fills each little hand 


with a nosegay from her own garden, they return 
home, grateful and content. 

The history of our first encampment was 
repeated the succeeding days, with only differ- 
ences according to its locality and the state of 
our larder. 

The fine weather was unalterable. The In- 
dian summer was at its stillest and brightest. 
Something had favored the ripening of the 
leaves, and their tints of gold, crimson, and 
purple would have been glaring in a mid- 
summer sun ; but the late autumn takes care to 
glaze the too great splendor with her amber 
atmosphere. This harmonizes and blends the 
discordant colors, and the sky's tranquillity and 
peace do not allow the vivid scene to jar upon 
our senses. 

The only change was the shortening day, and 
the increasing chill at night, as the season ad- 

Our first camp was just below the falls of the 
Racquette, a very pretty cascade, down which, 
not without some excitement, we descended on 
our return. Below it, is a still pool, in which 
we fished ; here we tried both the fly and worms 
from our much cherished tin box. But the 
season was too far advanced for much success 


here or elsewhere. We had to content our- 
selves with our guide's stories of the prodigious 
size and number of the trout he had caught 


here when the time was more favorable. We 
even saw the dusky backs of some monsters 
moving about in the pool, but they were not at 
our disposal. Not far above the fall ended our 
longest and most terrible carry. I forget the 
exact distance, but as we each carried something, 
for even the ladies burdened themselves with 
light articles, and I staggered about with an 
oscillating bag of potatoes as above mentioned, 
to us the space measured many miles. This 
was our only carry of importance ; and we were 
glad to do it, to understand better the stories 
my friends had told me of the carries which they 
had to traverse in Maine. At times we would 
leave the boats, unburdened, for the sake of the 
walk or a little shooting. We occasionally got 
a few partridges ; but, with the exception of deer, 
game is not very abundant in the wilderness. 
Alwaj^s after this carry we slid along the glassy 
floor ; and, as the winds were hushed, it was only 
once or twice that our boats met the shock of 
little waves in some open lake. 

It was the very poetry of travel. We had 
not to rough it anywhere ; and the ease and 


elegance of our conveyance, the simplicity yet 
comfort of our lodging, and the living pictures 
always passing before the eye, made us pronounce 
our life in the woods superior in distinction to 
any other form of existence. 

The midge and the mosquito troubled us not ; 
only once something was said of a snake, but 
few, if any saw it ; and the dry, clean ground of 
our camp furnished no manner of vermin. So 
we glided, as in a dream, from river to lake and 
from lake to river. 

We passed from the Racquette River and 
entered Forked Lake on the fifth of October. 
Thence again by the river we rowed on till 
the mountains rising from the lovely shores 
of Racquette Lake saluted us. But behind 
us we had left the extended waters of Long 
Lake, the home of our chief guide. There 
we pulled up midway down the lake, as all 
tourists do, at Gary's. It was quite a settle- 
ment: there must have been as many as two 
houses. At Gary's we stopped for a day and 
partook of civilization. We tasted once more 
of the famous American stove which returns the 
money you have spent upon it in carbonic acid 
gas ; and we saw again America's housekeeper. 
She bore like Atlas a world of care upon her 


shoulders ; conscientious, fidgety, and faithful. 
Worn to a shadow, it seemed a cruelty that she 
should slave for us incessantly. 

Something must be done for these devoted 
housekeepers of ours. They are unlike the 
same class in any other country. One might 
hope to find on these breezy heights that robust- 
ness which plain living and such air should en- 
gender. The substratum of a nation should be 
as a quarry from which the rough blocks of 
human nature are cut, to be polished and chis- 
elled into the Corinthian columns which deco- 
rate while they support. But, if the nation give 
way at its base, there is little security for any 
true equilibrium. These good, weary women 
who die in harness deserve a better fate. Let 
us hope that the exhaustion of our climate will 
be met by the tranquillity of an accomplished 
civilization, when the duty as well as the pleas- 
ure of repose will be better understood. 

When returning to Gary's, from our excur- 
sion beyond, our party met with an adventure 
which showed the notion our guides had of the 
strength of these country dames. 

It had been the writer's misfortune, in the 
confused transfer of o.ur belongings on board the 

steamer on Lake Champlain, to lose a very val- 


liable pair of Faxon's best boots ; high, solid, 
and strong, as fittest for the forest. The con- 
sternation I expressed for my loss was a subject 
of endless mirth for the rest of my party. At 
Keesville I got another pair ; but, as I ex- 
pected, so inferior that I had little comfort in 
them. They were moulded for some abnormal 
foot ; for where the leather should have curved 
in it curved out, and vice versa. After much 
wearing, an indenting point hurt me, and was 
filling the boot with blood. This decided me, a 
few miles above Gary's, to take to a boat and 
descend the Racquette with the luggage, while 
the rest of the party, the gentlemen with guns, 
and the ladies with walking sticks, strolled 
across on foot. There was a wagon for them to 
go in if they chose ; but the roads were heavy, 
while the turf was springy and pleasant. So, 
leaving the wagon toiling after, they walked 
merrily ahead. 

When our boats came in sight of Gary's and 
no wagon was visible, our guides, for we brought 
them all, were in a great state of excitement. 
We hurried to the landing, and they broke into 

" Dear me ! ' cried Fulton, " they must have 
been left behind in that horrid mud ; I can see 


the ladies now, tuckered out and crying by the 

When we reached the house, we found the 
ladies very comfortable, round the fire and read- 
ing aloud. To be sure one, to whom cats are 
a profanation, had found one on the stair, and 
had passed a bad quarter of an hour. How 
they laughed at the fears of our guides ! They 
said the little walk was delightful, only five or 
six miles ; and they were not in the least tired. 
" Well," exclaimed Fulton, " I know there is 
no woman hereabouts who could 'a done it. 
Why, bless you, they never walk a mite ! ' 

I must not longer delay lazily, like a trout, 
eddying round in these river reaches, or lying 
indolent upon the bank, below the fragrant 
hemlocks. Let us hurry past the shadowy crests 
beyond Long Lake, and which evening turns 
to a purple, as if each were the broad leaf of an 
immense pansy. Past the swelling forest which 
the Racquette cuts with its thread of silver, past 
Racquette Lake, past Forked Lake, whose silent 
headlands crimson the water with the dyes of 
autumn, till we find ourselves arrested, for a 
moment only, by its pebbly beach. Thus far, 
all is open, smiling, frequented; but now, we 
are aiming at the heart of the wilderness, and 


launch away from the tourist's ground into the 
majestic solitudes of a nature which shall be all 
our own. We are to visit Blue Mountain Lake, 
the terminus of our wanderings ; make, as it 
were, a home there ; get to love it ; hate to 
leave it ; and still keep in our breasts its sunny 
image, so that it seems to us we have lived there 
for ever. 

The little stream that led thither, was no 
river, only a wide brook. It had rocks close to 
us, from which the wild flowers peered at us 
with their little eyes. Trees, with vines hang- 
ing to them, leaned forward, and covered us 
with their shadow. Then, looking past some 
dusky knoll, we would see the sun strike be- 
yond, and the maple-leaves burn like a chaplet 
of rubies. Then again, we would glance into 
the blue of the middle stream, over which the 
shadow of an eagle sailing overhead would flut- 
ter and pass away. We saw pictures everywhere 
of a scenery which America only possesses, and 
at length we also made a picture ourselves. 

We stopped to lunch in a most picturesque 
place. I am now looking at a sketch of it, and 
all the delights of the hour come back as I look. 
We emptied our boats, and drew them up on the 
shore. Some we overturned to lean against, as 


we lunched ; while, upon a knoll beyond, one 
of those impromptu fires which looks as if a city 
were burning, was wasting its energy for the 

O ' O Oi/ 

small purpose of furnishing us a few cups of 
hot coffee. Two great trees on the left, embow- 
ered us with their overarching boughs. Among 
the roots at their feet, were mosses of many 
colors. Here and there upon the russet of the 
bank, a fallen leaf would lie like a jewel. Dis- 
persed among the leaves and moss, were fish- 
ing-rods, gun-cases, skillets, and powder-flasks. 
And by their side after a careful sprinkling, 
our precious box of worms modestly asserted 

And the pipe which followed the roast potato, 
and where are potatoes better than on Long 
Lake ! the broiled trout, and the aromatic 
Mocha, into what content did they not waft us ! 
Call it physical satisfaction if you will, but the 
comforts of the body, when set amidst such 
weather, such scenery, such society, fill up for 
man a cup of perfect happiness. 

When we can easily and innocently enjoy so 
much, why is it that life must know many color- 
less gray hours, the darkness and the rain ? 

And then, alas ! too soon away, leaving, as we 
fancied, the ghostly bloom of our happiness, the 


impress of a moment's personality which we 
had made alive, to fade away from that bank 
of many colors. 

There must have been at one time beavers 
on that little stream, or perhaps otters. Soon 
after our visit to the Adirondacks, a club was 
formed, which for no great sum purchased an 
area of five miles square, and thus gave itself 
the satisfaction of a proprietorship in the wil- 
derness. That club was composed of many re- 
nowned men, and was visited by many lovely 
and noble women. A whole lake belonged 
to it, called Ampersand, from its form, which 
it resembled. It owned, too, a brook like this, 
where once at evening, with swift and sinu- 
ous grace, I saw two otters glide over a bank 
and drop into its stream. We allowed no gun 
to disturb them ; for they were our friends and 
companions, and their charter of the wilderness 
had a longer lease than ours. No one of us saw 
a more beautiful cottage for the forest than our 
own. Every I6g of it was the trunk of a shapely 
pine, neatly dove-tailed at the ends. It had six 
sleeping-rooms and a great central hall, where 
was placed the long table for our meals. All 
cooking was done outside, where screening trees 
protected us from the fire and smoke. We had 


a storehouse for provisions, and ice was cut 
for us in the winter. We had boats in abun- 
dance ; and we could use them either to procure 
the deepest bathing, or to follow the bay of the 
invisible hounds along the mountain-side, need- 
ing no better guide than their cry to know 
where the deer would lead them, before betak- 
ing himself to the lake. And then, like an 
arrow, the little skiff silently shot across the 
w^ater to intercept him, as he nearecl a majestic 
island, to receive the fatal shot which could 
replenish our larder. 

Or our men of science would be rowed where 
on the spot they could fathom the intricacies 
of Natural History. Little lectures on the ova 
of the trout, or the parasite of the deer, turned 
our rustic play-ground, for a moment, into a 
college. And at evening we practised with 
the rifle, to learn if the hand which could hold 
a microscope, and the trained eye of science, 
made a professor the equal in skill of the best 
hunter. Nor were the ladies wanting in skill. 
And as the bullet rang in the bull's eye, with 
admiring faces the guides would surround and 
congratulate the fair sports-woman. And when 
at night the rain came, shall we forget him who 
gave to the gorilla its name, as he buried him- 


self, defying the elements, in his burrow of earth, 
with only a protection for the head? 

The same day of our lunch, we reached, in 
good time for dinner, the camp which was to be 
our home for many days and the terminus of 
our excursion. Our little river emptied into a 
large lake, on whose shores we saw the only 
house there, that of the celebrated Ned Bunt- 
line, whose neighborly good-will, before we left, 
we -drew upon, through necessity, by asking the 
gift of a sack of potatoes. And then we en- 
tered Blue Mountain Lake, our favorite of all 
the lakes. It was just large enough to seem 
wholly ours. Its mountains sheltered it from 
the wind, and the lake repaid their protection 
by keeping clear its mirror for them to admire 
themselves, and see their autumnal coats of 
many colors. 

It had an island or two, with lofty pines upon 
them, whose dry moss of a tender green, and 
half a foot thick, made couches for us whence 
we could watch the sunsets, and hear the laugh- 
ter of the loon. 

Every lake has, or should have, a loon for its 
presiding spirit. Its shriek and laughter hu- 
manize the spot, and seem the echoes from afar 
of our life with its two extremes. Sometimes 


the cry sounds as if mocking us, and at others 
it is one of sympathy. The loon is not there 
to be shot, or, if that were possible, to be eaten. . 
It evades, by a dive, the bullet. It is there only 
as a voice, and it talks to us, and to the wilder- 
ness, of what it has overheard in nights along 
the sea-coast, of men and their ways. 

And our lake had strands of silver, where we 
could walk in the moonlight, waking the echoes 
with song, interrupted by the bitter criticism of 
the owl. In the woods at night, any noise you 
may not understand generally turns out to have 
been made by an owl. It can cry like a child 
that is hurt, draw corks from imaginary bottles, 
whistle and cough as well as hoot. Even after 
you think you understand it, it surprises you 
with discordant novelties. 

It was our good fortune to find there an 
abandoned camp. A one-story building of 
coarsest boards, and with a slanting roof of 
bark, is then a palace. It is man's primitive 
hut, and we lie there as may have our fore- 
fathers of the stone age. Guides, dogs, and we, 
rest side by side. We converse little, we never 
quarrel, and are all aiming at the same object, 
a good square sleep. We only go to our 
couch of wraps and balsam fir, when our eyes 



will 110 longer stay open or our stories give out. 
We rise with the sun and make our toilette in 
the open air. Our table is a tree-stump, on 
which our guide places our caoutchouc wash- 
bowl, or we slip away and swim in the neigh- 
boring lake. Once, when stooping like a heron 
over the tree-stump, in the act of washing, I 
heard a twig snap in the silence. Turning my 
head, I saw my own guide quietly curving a 
finger with a gesture of invitation. I knew what 
it meant ; for the dogs' thunder had been rolling 
for an hour along the hillside. In less than a 
minute, gun in hand, I was seated at the boat's 
stern, and my guide feathering his oar in silence. 
What a picture it was ! and fortunately one 
that memory loves too well to forget. There 
was the moving dot, with a silver line behind 
it, and that we knew was the deer. And there 
were the other guides, pausing in their boats 
for us to come up. I would not look for a time 
at these figures ; for such a morning should not 
be stained with even necessary blood. The 
thought was a discord, where all else was 
pearl, only made rosy where the far hills shot 
it with the tenderest gold and crimson. The 
lake still slumbered in the mountains' encircling 
arms ; only an ill-advised cloud or two was up 


so early. The owl had gone to bed, and the 
loon had not yet left his reeds. All was purity 
and innocence ; and yet our future dinners 
had to be provided for. So, at a long shot, I 
was lucky enough to put a bullet through that 
swimming dot. In five minutes from the time 
I heard the twig snap, I was back again by the 
stump to finish my toilette. A pair of bright 
eyes peeped from the ladies' tent inquiringly, 

44 Ready for your walk ? ' 

"In a minute ; ' ' was the reply. 

I carefully avoided encountering the guides, 
as we approached the lake, and, even more, the 
mighty carcass, our spolia opima. We took 
our walk along the strand, rejoicing to have the 
word suggest promenades in such utter contrast. 
We even were wicked enough to hatch a pun 
where the silence knows not the snap of such 
fireworks. We talked of our draught of eaiiy- 
purl, still thinking of London's Strand. Our 
mood was not difficult ; and the laugh which 
followed our tiny jokes owed less to our fun 
than to the spirits and good-nature the morning 
bred in us. 

"But you heard the dogs? Where do you 
suppose they are ? I half thought I heard a 
gun too." 


Without reply, I drew them a little into the 
wood, where, to their surprise, depending from 
a branch, they saw a mighty buck. 

" All done since first I called you for our 
walk, and was shown that pretty proof of un- 
preparedness, you remember." 

As the nights grew fresher, our great fire 
sparkled more vividly, and was more enjoyed 
by us. When the flame died, we reclined not 
far from its huge bed of coals, a rose-colored 
mass, on which, at intervals, like down, lay the 
tender white of its ashes, we would watch 
the great core of heat calcine and clean the 
pipe-bowls, which thence came to us pure as 
when they left the maker's hands. We pulled 
the long ears of " Watch," and praised him 
for his running. We would mark the stars 
as they sowed themselves between the pine 
branches, and try to guess from which side 
came that sudden hiccough of the owl, if owl 
it were. And then, while we reclined in com- 
fort, knocking the ashes from his pipe, our 
guide would tell us the legends of the forest. 

There is something very winning in the man- 
ner of these guides. Their speech is Doric, 
not Corinthian. It is pictorial, because every 
thing they describe is painted as if seen by the 


best eyes in the world. It is direct, hearty, 
and, above all, manly. Their adventures are not 
poisoned with ink, but stream fresh from living 
lips. Their narrative is spiced with technical 
phrases : words which grew in the woods as 
naturally as a tree ; they run with the sap of the 
maple ; they are crisp as an axe-stroke. How 
different from the slang and argot of cities. The 
one breathes of the freshness of nature ; the 
other of the pollution of slums and the den of 
the thief. They told us modestly their exploits 
concerning the loup-cervier and the wild-cat. 
With our guns so near us, these had the relish 
of danger, and we could share in the courage 
and skill of our comrades. And they spoke, 
with amusing words of wonder and disgust, of 
one of Europe's effete children who had wan- 
dered into their neighborhood. He was a de- 
bauched Englishman, and a fair friend accom- 
panied him. With staring eyes they told of the 
luxury of his equipment, his prodigality at the 
beginning, and his amazing brass ; how he or- 
dered them about, paying them well, crashing 
and smashing through the woods, till, one fine 
morning, he disappeared, leaving his fair friend, 
his dogs, and his unpaid bills to wonder over 
his departure, and to guess of his whereabouts. 


"We pitied her, and looked after the woman, 
poor thing. I 'd have liked to yank him into 
the Racquette for clesartin' that wife o' hisn, 
but we levelled on his dogs at any rate." The 
guide meant to say levied, and that the money 
the dogs brought was used to pay his bills. 

One of the best stories the guides told was 
about the loss of a little child in the woods, and 
its recovery ; the pathos of it was direct and 
genuine, and every word came from the heart. 
It was something in this way. 

" Did you ever, Mister, hearn tell of the craze, 
or mayhap, though I guess not, have had it 
yourself? Wall, you see a man keeps stiddy 
and straight in the woods as long as he has the 
blazes to go by, and can see right without his 
head's turnin.' It comes on him all at once like. 
He gets a bit dubersome about his trail, finds 
he 's gone wrong of a sudden by the looks of 
things, puts about quick, up and down, to right 
and left, only getting into a snarl the wuss every 
minute ; and then he gives up and stands still, 
and knows he 's got it. He 'd hearn tell of the 
craze, and now he knows he 's got it. 'Tain't a 
common scare, that. Why, bless yer, all a feller 
ever knew then runs out of his head like gun- 
powder out of a flask. Why, a feller 'd pass 


straight afore his own door without knowing his 
house. He '11 go right over the track he 's most 
used to, and won't know it a mite. That 's 'cause 
he 's got the craze, which muddles him all up. 
I guess when they aren't picked up soon, they 
wander off into the thickest part of the wood, 
and git low and weak like, and sit down on 
some log, or crawl about on the dry leaves till 
they starve to death. 

" Wall, now, you see I was livin' down to a 
little town, you may call it, of five or six housen, 
t'other side of Long Lake. We 're sort o' inti- 
mate, living so close together, and knew about 
each other's folks. 'T won't do for a chap to 
be stuck up and onhelpful in the woods, where 
we had need of each other ; and, besides, we 
like to see the gals and women when we can, 
and that ain't much, we 're off campin' so all the 
while. And, I tell ye, down to a man's house 
called Stevy there was jist about the nicest and 
puttiest four-year-old boy you ever sot eyes on. 
He was real smart, too, and likely for one o' his 
bigness. He 'd heave away at Stevy 's axe as if 
he could handle it, till we had to take it away 
from him for fear o' his hurtin' himself. And, 
bright and brave as he was, he looked putty as 
a little gal, for his yellow hair curled all over 


his head and hung down his neck, an' his cheeks 
was like apples, not that sailer kind they hez 
down in them fever and ag'er mashes. 

" Wall, ye see we all loved that little feller as 
if he was our own child. As fur as we 'd see him 
we 'd cry out, ' Blossy,' and he 'd come toddlin' 
along with his arms up, jes' as if we were his 
own father. 

" One day, the neighbors, all but Stevy's folks 
and mine, went off for a couple o' days maple 
sugarin'. It was late March, and they went to 
see to the tubs and how the juice run. It was a 
big bit down to S croon Lake, and they mightn't 
be back for two or three days. 'T was real 
lonesome without 'urn, an' I tried to fill up the 
time with splittin' up Avood for the old woman, 
for the winter stock was used up. 

" Arter a while my arms got enough of it, so 
I went down to Stevy's to smoke a pipe and 
have a talk. He 'd been fussin' round, too, git- 
tin' his winter traps stowed away, and puttin' 
things to rights. So I went and sot down by 
the chimney, and we had a good smoke together. 
All of a sudden I missed suthin', and said, 

" ' Where 's Blossy ? I don't see the little 
crittur anywhere round.' 


" ' Wall,' said Stevy, ' I hain't seen him myself 
since mornin'. I guess he 's clown to your house, 
ain't he.' 

" ' He wasn't when I came away. Let 's go 

" We both on us pretended we wasn't oneasy. 
But we went straight enuff to my house, with 
not a word on the way. The child wasn't high 
or low, or anywhere round. I thought he might 
a' hid in the wood-pile, playing hide-and-seek 
like. When she heard me crying out as loud as I 
could, ' Blossy ! Blossy ! ' my old woman went on 
like one distracted : turnin' over of every thin', 
lookin' down the well in a skeery kind of way, 
upsettin' all the empty barrels, and then of a 
sudden runnin' a piece into the wood, singin' 
out as she ran, 4 Blossy ! Blossy ! ' Arter that, 
she came home, walkin' slow, and sot right down 
on a stone by the door without sayin' a word. 
Then, lookin' up to me with a sickly look in her 
face, she said, 

' John Forester, I guess that child 's lost.' 
It was gittin' on nigh dusk, and the way we 
used what was left of daylight 't is no good to 
tell yer. We scooted up and down and round in 
circles till we was dead beat. Suthin' took away 

my strength till I could hardly draw one foot 




arter the other. I was so dead beat that I 
wouldn't go upstairs, but slept awhile like a 
log on the settle. The old woman had gone and 
put a piller onder my head. 

" The next day Stevy and I were up with the 
light and doin' it all over again, only at times 
we went a long piece into the wood; and I re- 
membered a little pond there was down in the 
holler, where once I had took Blossy to show 
him the turtles, and give him some chickerber- 
ries to chew. The chickerberries and the turtle 
was there, but there was no Blossy ; so I cum 
back down-hearted, and met Stevy, who looked 
as white as birch-bark, and, cat chin' me by the 
sleeve, said, hoarselike, 

" i This is the day the men come home from 
the maple lot. Les' go out and meet 'um and 
make 'um spread and scoot through all the 

" So we did ; and 't warn't long afore I hailed 
'um. You never see fellers so knocked up as 
they was with the news ; but we set about 
huntin' for him right away. There wasn't a 
squirrel track or path we didn't foller up, but 
't warnt no use. I told Stevy, ' I don't b'lieve 
you '11 git that child agin ; now, don't cry, but 
harden yourself to it.' 


" ' Seems 's if Blossy was too putty and angel- 
like to stay here, and so they have come down 
and fetched him away.' 

" We two couldn't look no more, and went 
straight home ; but the other fellers went rangin' 
furder and furder into the wood in great sweeps 
and circles. They wouldn't give up. So Stevy 
and I got back ; and, conceitin' that he and his 
missis would feel lonesome without Blossy, I 
went with him down to his house ; and we 
sot round, not speaking much, but I knew he 
was glad I was there. Every now and then 
Blossy's mother would come out from where she 
was rummagin' about, a tryin' to stun herself, 
and looked at us with hard dry eyes an' a face 
pinched as if she 'd bin a month sick. 

" When she come the last time a questionin' 
with her dry eyes, I couldn't stand it no longer ; 
so I riz straight up and streaked it into the 
wood as if she 'd shot me out of a gun. I went 
up a great cart track which ran down to Joe's 
clearin'. There was a path a few rods from the 
house which crossed it at right angles. I was 
jist drivin' ahead, meanin' not to fetch up till I 'd 
got t'other side of the trail of the boys who was 
huntin' for him, for I thought I couldn't bear 
that look in her eye agin if I hadn't found the 


" Just as I reached the path, my eye caught 
the flutter o' suthin blue down it to the right. 
I stood stock still, I felt so weak and trembled 
so. I had jist time to git behind a big maple 
there was there and watch. I peeked round 
keerfully, and, Lord o' massy, if there wasn't 
little Blossy as peart as a robin, and a walkin' 
along in the middle o' the path as easy as ef he 
hadn't left home an hour. I was glad to see 
he had a bunch o' berries in his hand, for that 
told me he 'd had sense enuff to find some- 
thin' it couldn't be much, any way to eat. 
I knew he must be dreadful weak with fright 
and fastin', and I guessed I 'd better not come 
on him too suddin, so I ambushed him a bit, 
and got into the path about a rod ahead, and, 
turnin' my back, pretended to be busy watchin' 
a red squirrel there was there. 

" I laughed out to see him jump so putty 
when I threw twigs at him. I heard the little 
feet behind me draggin', oh, so slow, one arter 
the other. Pretindin' I 'd just seen him, I said, 
over my shoulder, 'Look now, little boy, and 
see how nice he will jump ! ' for the squirrel had 
got too far on the bough to go back, and me a 
peltin' him so. Just as the squirrel jumped, I 
slipped my hand into Blossy's, and said, * Wasn't 


that putty now ? ' and then I led him along 
ever so gently, and allers talkin' of the squirrel. 
At last, when I could see that he knew nie, and 
his little hand tightened on my ringers, I took 
him up quietly, and, turnin' my head, I see he 
was asleep on my shoulder. Arter that, I didn't 
walk, I kind o' glided along the ground as 
swift as a bird flies. When I got near the 
housen, I see the old woman a standin' in the 
doorway. When she obsarved us both, she 
flung her arms out, and would ha' screeched, but 
I put a finger on my mouth, and she dropped 
her arms and stood stock still as if she was 
froze. When I cum up to her, I whispered 
hard, ' Keep quiet, and just you put the boy 
to bed without wakin' him now, and, when he 
wakes o' hisself, give him jist ever so little o' 
bread and milk ; then, later, he '11 eat hearty.' 
She smiled all over ; and, I tell yer, 't was good 
for me to see that dry, hungry look gone out of 
her eyes. 

" 'T warn't more 'n an hour arter this afore 
all the boys come back to find if there was any 
news of the child. They wanted to hurrah, but 
o' course I wouldn't let 'um, and I made 'urn all 
go up to my house where we could talk it over, 
and be as noisy as we wanted to. 


" And they was some ; for they had been shet 
up so long, and were so glad, it was nateral they 
should. And, sittin' round the fire a smoking 
quietly, an old feller, who was there a standin' 
up, took his pipe out o' his mouth, and said, 

u . 

I '11 tell yer how it was, boys, that that child 
comes out, arter sleepin' a night in the woods, so 
fresh and peart. 'T aint lie that had the craze, 
he 's too young ; we ' is that had the craze fur 
him: " 

We got so attached to our camp on Blue 
Mountain Lake, that we never dreamed of leav- 
ing it. The days succeeded each other, each one 
more beautiful than the last. The pageant of 
autumn was undiminished in splendor ; we could 
not see that a leaf had fallen, for no breeze to 
shake them disturbed the utter stillness. There 
was something sacred in the purity of the air. 
The forest aisles, the colored architecture of the 
encircling hills, made the place a temple, -r- a 
sylvan temple, where, every hour, our hearts 
became more devotional, and one we knew we 
could not find elsewhere. One of our ladies ex- 
pressed the general feeling, when she said, with 

u I have been welcomed in the palace of no- 
bles, and dwelt in many famous houses, but I 


never felt the regret in leaving these that I shall 
when I see the last of our little camp." 

"Then we had better go to-morrow," said 
Robert Fulton. We were silent with indigna- 
tion and amazement : then he added, " Let us go 
when we are so happy and have so little to re- 
gret. Last night you remember the wolves 
howled in a circle round our camp ; and that 
may mean change o' weather. If we go now 
all will be well ; and I should be sorry to have 
the snow or rain come, and you all draggled 
and miserable in the boats." And so we swal- 
lowed our regrets, and with a sigh departed. 
We rowed back to Gary's in the most placid 
weather, and there enjoyed a famous hunt, dur- 
ing which we secured a gigantic buck, which 
we brought home as a trophy. We had wagons 
to convey us from the upper end of Long Lake 
to the steamboat landing on Lake Champlain ; 
but we found the road so rough, mostly made 
corduroy fashion, with great gaps where the 
logs had fallen out, that we walked nearly the 
whole way to the lake. It took us a day and a 
half to get to the steamboat. On the boat our 
shooting equipment and our odd dresses made 
us objects of curiosity to the passengers. Be- 
fore night we had reached Rutland. 


After a square meal, we took a pathetic fare- 
well of each other at our bedroom doors ; 
for we meant to sleep, and didn't know when 
we should wake up. Such a sleep as some 
never know held us in its soft embrace till 
far into the following day. We were just 
in time for the cars, and reached Boston at 

The air there seemed thin, and wanting in 
nourishment. We were so full of the woods 
that I proposed that we should camp out in my 
half-acre garden in Cambridge. The saddle of 
the buck was delicious, and was proof of our 
prowess to the interested family. As we di- 
vided its succulent meat, stories were told of 
our adventures ; and all who heard wished they 
had been there. 

We had left the Aclirondacks, but none of us 
have ever forgotten them. We soon heard from 
Robert Fulton, and he told us that, before a 
week had elapsed from the time we left Blue 
Mountain Lake, the whole country was buried 
in snow. How wise had he been in precipi- 
tating our departure. I subjoin a sonnet writ- 
ten on the morning of our departure from Blue 
Mountain Lake. 



Camp of the woods ! we see thy tiny tent 

Struck with a sorrow which we have not felt 
When from majestic palace-walls we went, 

Welcomed where Luxury's spoiled children dwelt. 
A freer hospitality is thine. 

The largess of the forest all is ours : 
Our banquet served by sumptuous star-shine ; 

Our carpet, the fallen forest leaves in showers ; 
Our hearth, a holocaust of royal trees, 

Through the thin glass of whose ascending smoke 
Their forest brothers nod before the breeze 

White with the moon ; and, startled, we have woke 
To hear unscared the hollow night reply 

In mellow thunder to the wolf's wild cry. 




" REMOVE yon skull from out the scattered heaps : 

Is that a temple where a God may dwell 1 ? 
Why, even the worm at last deserts her shattered cell. 

Look on its broken arch, its ruined wall, 
Its chambers desolate, and portals foul. 
Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall, 
The dome of thought, the palace of the soul. 
Behold, through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole, 
The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit, 
And Passion's host, that never brook'd control. 
Can all saint, sage, or sophist ever writ 
People this lonely tower, this tenement refit ? " 


TS phrenology a science? At its beginning it 
seemed to try to be, and indeed in some sense 
was, a science. For the vague preferences of 
the mind, its passions and its tastes, as taught 
by the Scotch school and many a metaphysician, 
till lost in the far blue of Plato's dialogues, it 
substituted an apparent accuracy. Let us not 
say that phrenology sought physical residences 
for the propensities, but that the faculties de- 
clared themselves when the skull was carefully 
contemplated. Germany seems the bird which 


should naturally hatch such an egg. Loving 
metaphysics, with systems of philosophy chas- 
ing each other as do waves upon the sea-beach, 
yet with the persistent plodding which steadies 
their airy nights of speculation, from Germany, if 
there be such a truth as phrenology, it was sure 
to come. 

It has had but three teachers of importance, 
and of these, two were German. Gall first 
discovered it; but, dying not long after, it re- 
mained for his disciple Spurzheim to propagate 
it in the world. As he passed through Great 
Britain, he fired the conviction of a canny but 
ardent Scot, George Combe, who in his turn 
became a knight-errant for its sake. 

We do not know enough of the patient labors 
of Gall, enough of his defeats and triumphs, till 
he allotted chambers for the guests of 

" The dome of thought, the palace of the soul." 

His method was simple. He brought together 
for his notice skulls of men remarkable for good 
or evil gifts. If they agreed in any salience of the 
surface, he noted it. Of course of the less obvi- 
ous human propensities, he must have long lain 
in wait for proof. But it is remarkable that 
when he had built up his " dome of thought," 


stone by stone, the plan of the master should 
remain authoritative to this day. Combe added 
nothing, perhaps Spurzheim did somewhat. An 
enthusiast of our own, from the West, made 
some brilliant additions, and suggested more 
things than are now found on the charts. 
Later we shall speak of these suggestions of 
Buchanan more at length. 

Now, is phrenology a science ? Of course not, 
in the true modern meaning of the word. It 
is in taking to itself such a dangerous appella- 
tion, that science catches each fresh discovery 
of man's nature. No ! the vague, lambent 
flickerer of Hadrian will not bide imprison- 
ment, even that of a name. Its motions are 
not this wise. It is just that one thing in the 
universe which cannot be surrounded, dictated 
to, and shackled. This seems plain enough to 
any one who observes the nature of the human 
mind. But if, by any happy chance, it does 
take to itself a material aspect, how glad should 
be the world which always needs any help in 
this quarter ! 

It is noticeable that the Scotch school of 
metaphysicians talk of mind in general, its laws 
of association, its inherited ideas, if you will ; 
but never put a man breathing before you. It 


is interesting to know the methods of benevo- 
lence, but it is also interesting to know who has 
got that tendency. Very misty reading now is 
Dugald Stewart on the mind ; for we fear that 
more than half of his mental laws are unimpor- 
tant or mistakes. Would reading him help 
Fowler, and the many phrenologists who aston- 
ish their clients by revelations so clear and exact 
at times, that their friends merrily shout as they 
hear them enumerated? And often will the 
patient of this scrutiny retire to brood over a 
knowledge of himself, which before he scarcely 
dared avow, and which he thinks does something 
for that self-inspection which the Greeks held 
of supreme importance ; namely, yvayOi aeavrov. 
Courageous as were the Messrs. Fowler, they 
could hardly tell every thing. It might be dan- 
gerous to announce to a criminal his impending 
crime, or to the swindler his prospective delin- 
quency. We were always told that it was done 
with the aid of physiognomy. Of course it was, 
and why not ? For the physiognomy is made by 
the phrenology. The two pull together and do 
not quarrel. But while the eye read the face, and 
even got the body to whisper of a character, in 
the main the mind of man was got at, as by the 
scholars of Dr. Howe, through the skull's raised 


letters, which finally were as deftly interpreted 
as do the poor blind children their horn-books 
of basso-rilievo. Mentally, man is a unit ; we 
know him as such, and find a difficulty of be- 
lief in an aggregation of powers round the cen- 
tral life. If this unity were absolute, each man 
would be but a repetition of another ; for the 
simple motive forces of his nature are common 
to each. Fear and hate, judgment, kindness, 
selfishness, more or less, must be common gifts 
to all. Yet we notice in men an infinite diver- 
sity : each mental faculty is bestowed in unequal 
proportions or sometimes wholly withheld. The 
wisdom which can give a statesman the guid- 
ance of a nation may be allied with indifference 
to the arts, deafness to musical concord, and 
alas! a conscience so poor that that wisdom 
fails to furnish good personal guidance. And 
to the objection so common of old that matter 
must have little or nothing to do with the life 
of man's spirit, modern science is unfriendly. 
These specialties of mind, this inherited bias of 
character, this predetermined, prenatal groove 
of thought and feeling, must be largely owing 
to physical conditions which modify the pure 
spirituality of the brain. The sanity of thought 
may be there, but how dwarfed and distorted 


by prenatal necessities we learn more and more. 
And if forty men, with fulness at the organ of 
tune or order, and forty others in which these are 
wanting, show, severally, orderliness and enjoy- 
ment of harmony, and indifference to these, may 
not such an agreement be something more than 
coincidence, and bear some modest evidence 
that Gall and Spurzheim are not wholly wrong. 

Physicians usually scout such a possibility ; 
but we are aware that, while they may be famil- 
iar with every convolution and fibre of the brain, 
they have no theory of their own, as to any 
connection between these and the action of the 
mind. Their evidence, therefore, can only be 
negative : they are not enough students of the 
mind to bring for it any corroboration from the 
brain, and the leap from matter to mind is as 
difficult to them as for any one else. 

But we must confess that a flavor of charla- 
tanism accompanies the phrenologist as it does 
the homoeopathist, the magnetist, and the spirit- 
ualist. Yet none of these will be pooh-poohed 
out of the world, though the dictate to be gone 
has come from the bent and angry brows of 
professional omniscience. A thousand reasons 
start up to explain man's natural hostility to 
most of these. It seems very like Siiibad's sue- 


cessful command to the expansive Genius to get 
him back into the narrow limitations of his bot- 
tle ; as if immortal mind would dwell in an attic 
chamber of the " Palace of the soul ! ' 

This feeling springs from the horror felt at mind 
being tributary to matter or expressing itself 
through it ; and yet, all the while, one knows 
that it is only through that it can express itself. 
For man seems all matter. It is a handsome 
concession to allow, that mind may reside in the 
brain at all. But that at least does seem con- 
quered to the world. And, perhaps, something 
more in relation to that brain may be conquered 
too. The question before us now is, in relation 
to Phrenology, Has it achieved for the world 
any thing? Can we say that men may turn to it 
with confidence to know more of mental myste- 
ries ? Is it fairly beaten out of the field, or does it 
win unacknowledged battles like the Desdiehado, 
overthrowing its foes and rolling them in the dust, 
but without blazon or cognizance ? Does not the 
novelist, without claiming to be phrenology's dis- 
ciple, carefully observe the numbered head on 
his mantel-piece, in describing the good and bad 
characters of his book ? Does never by any chance 
the caricaturist give a forehead " villanous low' 
to his ruffian, or hare-like ears and flattened 


cornbativeness to his coward ? If we may trust 
Punch, phrenology is always, dictating the pen- 
cil's curve in the merry whimsical heads of that 
fascinating solace of the week, where Fun, the 
daughter of Good-breeding, knows so well the 
limits of vulgarity and cruelty. 

In fact, did one ever find a sculptor or painter 
whose intuition did not make him its disciple ? 
Look at the long line of consular and imperial 
busts with which Florence and Rome greet the 
American thirsting for knowledge ! Caesarism 
seems almost made to prove phrenology. A 
man was fed and pampered with self-indul- 
gence, with no check within or without, till, be- 
fore his taking-ofT, his disposition got the same 
bloated abnormalness which makes dear to the 
epicure the famous fowl of Strasbourg. We 
can see in some cases, the process of cramming 
and expansion ; as in Nero's head, which, when 
young, showed those charming possibilities of 
virtue which Mr. Story would have us think 
he had, and in which belief his mother shared, 
with many another mother, less foully betrayed. 

I myself was amazed to find, from an authentic 
bust, the hugeness of the organ of secretiveness 
in the head of Tiberius. It is this organ in com- 
bination with destructiveness, which gives the 


cat its relish for playing with its victim before 
destroying it. All these imperial busts phre- 
nologically correspond to the characters as de- 
scribed by the historians. Can the amiable 
Trajan, or the noble Marcus Aurelius, be mis- 
taken for Vitellius or Caracalla? In Vitellius, 
the organ of alimentiveness is preposterously 
vast ; and in the gladiatorial head of Caracalla we 
discern at once the force that made his brother 
Geta so slight an obstacle in his path. Any one 
who cares to understand history, through por- 
traits and busts, will certainly study phrenology. 
If that does not put its seal upon the individual, 
we may have doubts. One would like to see a 
good bust of Lucretia Borgia, now that a more 
careful attention to the facts of history has re- 
habilitated, at least somewhat, that victim of the 
necessities of an opera and the criminal needs of 
M. Victor Hugo. 

And yet this teaching has no acknowledged 
place in any curriculum. We believe, indeed, 
the college at Glasgow endowed a professorship 
of phrenology, but that was in the days and 
through the influence of Mr. George Combe. 
Yet we do not see that there is much need of 
any endowment in the matter. A careful, eager 
study of the accredited phrenological organs in 


common busts suffices, if daily observation com- 
plements the labor. A habit of thinking what 
the individual head expresses, when regarding 
a new acquaintance, soon furnishes an aptitude 
which gets only more facile by practice. To be 
sure, the great bulk of heads would tell very 
little, because there is little to be told ; where 
no extraordinary gifts exist, where the tempera- 
ment is sluggish, a head may make a certain 
show of fulness ; but the quality of the brain is 
too poor to produce powerful thought. Quality 
is always the essential thing. This is a material 
mystery, accompanying always the great gifts of 
remarkable men. Of course, Shakespeare had 
only a human head on his shoulders, and could 
not be differentiated from others by a dome like 
St. Peter's, though we may think he well de- 
served it. One instinctively feels that no out- 
Avard material evidence can explain so unique a 
phenomenon as his genius. But is not he sure 
to have that ample circle, that full swing of all 
the powers, which make every human faculty its 
guest ; while imagination, creating, from his in- 
tuitions, every possible combination of humanity, 
holds its central place like an eye which reviews 
all things, superior to the multitude it evokes? 
The head of Shakespeare, or rather his counte- 


nance was probably carefully copied from a mask 
in wax which still exists. We can ask nothing 
more than such a brow, such an eye, with its fit 
prominence and the short and delicate mouth. 
This mouth is bereft of its natural expression of 
life, the rigid lines of death being copied. But 
the village tyro, who fashioned the awkward 
hands and clumsy drapery, never could have 
wrought that face but by slavishly copying some- 
thing before him. 

One of the awkward facts for phrenology is, 
that the interior of the skull is not always ex- 


actly conformed to the external lines. I believe 
it is physiologically true that in us the softer 
parts fashion the harder ; that is, because there 
is more life in the former. Where a faculty is 
unused, the bone may thicken; but where it is 
active, the bone sometimes will be worn. almost 
as thin as paper. This was shown in several 
skulls by Mr. Buchanan of Ohio, of whom I 
spoke above. Holding a candle inside a skull, 
we saw the double organs when active, admitting 
the golden light, in just the form of the organ, 
through to the outward eye. 

Mr. Buchanan made many discoveries, most 
of which were fanciful ; but his ingenuity and 
success, in some particulars, made him the acute 


American we could desire at the heels of the 
German and Scotch philosophers. He would 
stimulate the organs in the head of a living per- 
son, and thereby get many curious results. A 
member of the temperance society could be made 
to stagger disreputably round the room ; prudent 
merchants would empty their pockets at the hint 
of benevolence, and others, notoriously generous, 
would close their fists and button their pockets 
at the suggestion of acquisitiveness. But later 
experience of the laws of biology, and the marvel- 
lous control which some minds have over others, 
causing them to feel, as they command them to 
feel, and experience what they desire, makes it 
probable that he was introducing, at times, this 

It seems generally conceded now, after long 
and weary denial, that the thing clumsily called 
Animal Magnetism exists. Indeed some people 
who always denied its claims are found explain- 
ing away the deeper mysteries of spiritualism 
by limiting that to this. Animal magnetism is 
certainly a very extraordinary thing. By passes, 
waves of the hand, certain persons of sensibility 
seem to have their personality annulled or merged 
in that of the operator. Their will abdicates, 
and flies to add itself to the will of the magnet- 


izer. Two facts strike one forcibly in this new 
condition. One is, that the will and intellect 
seem somewhat incorporate with the controlling 
mind, and the other that new powers are induced, 
new capabilities evoked by a wave of the hand. 
The rudder of the mind is unshipped. The tie 
which bound man's inner nature to the flesh is 
disturbed and broken : something gleams through 
the chinks of the body from the enkindled soul. 
A power of thought and language, the subtlest 
reading of character, a knowledge of healing, an 
apprehension where objects lost may be found, 
and a certain pure and lofty morality, come with 
this marvellous change of a moment. In its 
highest form, it is called extase, and then the 
most poetic suggestions, a power of foreseeing 
events, and intercourse with spirits, long before 
spiritualism had claimed this for itself, were 
the marks of this condition. The voice will alter, 
the words will be choice and intense in expres- 
sion, and, at times, the whole face glow, especially 
in young people, as with supernatural light. 
The most interesting subjects of these phenom- 
ena were simple people, lowly born, and without 
that half-knowledge even which might help them ; 
and, in the main, all over the world this strange 
faculty resembled itself. It seemed to have the 


same powers and the same limitations every- 
where. It was a freemasonry beyond that of 
any Lodge, and gave to all believers a feeling 
of brotherhood. 

Now it has never been adequately stated that 
these somnambules everywhere recognized phre- 
nology as true. Without knowing the first 
word of it, they spoke like professors, and 
pointed out all its subtleties in themselves and 

I have seen a young girl entranced, who, when 
I touched the organs of ideality and language, 
and commanded her to construct an acrostic 
upon her name, toiled with moving lips till she 
had successfully accomplished it. Upon waking, 
and being told what she had done, she said she 
could never make rhymes, but had had an 
acrostic written upon her name, and forthwith 
recited one, there being not a word in common 
with the first. As the liveliest interest in mag 1 - 


netism was felt, and phrenology was not the 
lion of the hour, sufficient weight has not been 
given to this additional proof of phrenology this 

People who like to qualify every dangerous 
novelty by reservations delight to say that 
" they think there may be something in it," and 


that an ample forehead may denote intelligence ; 
but they boggle at the small organs near -the 
eye. They think these cannot be as genuine 
as the big ones ; forgetting that a whole race of 
creatures of genius, with multiform activities of 
intelligence and will, namely, the insects, have 
all their powers shut up, oftentimes in no vaster 
a space than the head of a pin. If a bee can 
regulate her stupendous commonwealth, and 
mathematically hive her fragrant treasure, surely 
mere material space is not necessary to hold the 
most peerless ability. 

Another objection commonly urged against 
phrenology is, that it condemns us to a kind of 
mechanical play of faculties, which are given at 
birth and limited through life ; and that it takes 
away responsibility. We do what we are driven 
to do, and cannot help it. Whether this be true 
or no, it overlooks the central mystery of the 
will, and that the faculties as well as their out- 
ward expression enlarge by use. 

It has been noticed that the brain consists 
of double organs ; and it has been suggested 
of late that for complete development, both 
sides of the brain should be consciously exer- 
cised, as we strengthen by use the left arm as 
well as the right. But how this is to be accom- 


plished lias not as yet been indicated. The 
fact of these double organs existing would per- 
haps explain how injuries to one part of the 
brain have not totally effaced its activity. The 
uninjured side carries on its processes so that 
sometimes little of intelligence is missed. 

In relation to this duplexity of the organs, I 
have a suggestion to make as to a well-known 
phenomenon whose effects have been thought to 
imply a pre-natal existence, and the source very 
likely of the eastern idea of metempsychosis and 
Plato's ; that we have previously existed. This 
it may be which suggested the noble passage in 
the ode to immortality, and the lines, 

" Trailing clouds of glory do we come 
From heaven, which is our home." 

Many persons have felt as if a succession of 
incidents, conversation, and actions, very brief 
indeed, and mostly unimportant, had occurred 
at some previous time. Every thing for a short 
space seems identical with what we remember 
vaguely as a previous experience. The expla- 
nation I think to be this ; either some retarda- 
tion of the circulation of the blood in the brain, 
or the nervous fluid which animates it, causes 

one half to be ever so little in its action behind 
5 G 


the other. The mind, so to say, for once is 
not achromatic ; the two parts are not simulta- 
neous in their action. This would give a start- 
ling remoteness to perceptions which are but 
very slightly retarded. As this incident almost 
never concerns acts or speech of any importance, 
some such explanation seems natural. 
The poetic expression, 

" It almost seemed her body thought," 

has doubtless a certain truth in it. The brain 
is repeated in the body somewhat, in the great 
central ganglion. Somnambules often hold books 
and letters to the pit of the stomach to discern 
their contents, almost as readily as they hold 
them to the head, and the ancients, as we know, 
made each of the great bodily organs a seat of 
influence. Affection was placed in the heart, 
melancholy in the liver, &c. It is enough to 
say that there is the subtlest sympathy between 
the brain and the bodily organs. The tempera- 
ment will be clouded, direction given to thought 
and passion, as they are affected by good or 
bad health. 

If there be any truth in phrenolog} r , and as we 
get familiar with the pigeon-hole receptacles of 
thought and feeling, we naturally look in such 


a masterpiece as man for something which 
it may tell us of a divine harmony, an archi- 
tectural symmetry in this dome of thought ; 
which shall force us to think that the Deity 
has not there worked at hap-hazard, but with 
intelligent relations of beauty, symmetry, and 
power. Let us see if there be not something 
of this. A plumb-line dropped from the top of 
the skull past the ear divides the brain into the 
animal and domestic instincts, and the intellect- 
ual, reasoning, poetical and artistic processes to 
which man owes his royalty in creation. In 
the great simplicity which is daily attained to 
in investigating the compound elements of this 
world, the discovery even that the planets share 
with us, in the simple bases of their mixed ele- 
ments, it is fit to state that wherever there is 
mind there is precisely that same simplicity, that 
something which we ourselves possess. While 
instinct remains as the hidden command of 
Deity in man, as well as animals, for self-pres- 
ervation and guidance, the animals also share 
with man those processes beyond instinct which 
we call reasoning and intelligence. There is 
but one kind of mind possible in the universe 
for animals, as well as man, and those hierarchies 
of angelic spirits which may be as far above us 


as is man's intelligence beyond that of a dog. 
If the dog reasons he does it in the way that 
man does ; if he has affection, sportiveness, and 
remorse, they are like our own. This belief 
which is daily growing, and the great Agassiz 
held it, will in the future bring the animal 
creation into closer regard and brotherhood with 
us. If man can follow the circuit of the plan- 
ets, calculate eclipses, estimate the materials of 
distant worlds, his intelligence is of the same 
order as the Deity's who fashioned the creation, 
as we can somewhat understand. Such a cer- 
tainty is the best help for hope that, in the world 
beyond, with the creatures we may encounter, 
man's mind will not be a foreigner, but at home. 
The power of understanding things about us, 
which has so enlarged since man's 'childhood 
and the infancy of the race, may only here- 
after be unfolded as it has been here, but with 
fresh subjects for contemplation and to us 
an unimaginable theme for its activity. Thus 
human powers, if phrenology be true, should be 
built up in the great arch which crowns that 
sublime face of man, where the animals read 
their master, with relations of symmetry and 

The combative and destroying instinct, per- 


sistency in pursuit of an object, love of family 
and offspring, as conspicuous in the animal 
creation as in man, all have their place behind 
this line which passes downward past the ear. 
These instincts are blind, but imperative ; it 
requires all man's selfishness and the invitations 
of the intellect to deny them. The animals do 
not, and they are innocent. The tiger which 
tears its prey has its commission from on high, 
as well as all those creatures, who, abdicating 
self-indulgence, fulfil the duties of maternity 
and care of their young. For in proportion to 
his bulk man's brain is in evident excess over 
those of the brute creation. It has been his good 
or bad fortune to build from humble beginnings 

that vast dome of power which makes him mas- 

ter of the world. But with his gains may lie 
not have lost much? He is now far removed 
from the natural instincts which guide and 


satisfy. His will is distracted by a thousand 
appeals ; his nervous system is shaken and 
suffers from the whirl of the mighty enginery 
above. Whim, caprice, and insanity are the 
penalties of his elevation above his fellow ani- 
mals. They know them not ; but live content 
within the secret boundaries of their instincts. 
The joy of life is not simply the joy of thinking, 


the greatest geniuses are often the greatest 
sufferers : an equilibrium between the health 
of the body and the sanity of the mind is the 
truest happiness. 

Nor will the brain be content to moderate its 
claims ; it cries ever for more nutriment, more 
fuel, more knowledge. Does it not somewhat 
seem that the blade may devour the scabbard, 
and the race of men perish from off the face of 
the earth through that very superiority which 
makes them kings of it ? Apparently only the 
wisest subjection to sanitary laws, the fullest 
study of them, can offset the dangers of too much 
brain, and save man's future. In our complex 
civilization, we can hardly judge how innocent 
in primeval man was the impulse to battle and 
destruction ; when society, unformed, had not 
bribed man to relinquish his instincts of self- 

In advance of the ear, at the base of the brain, 
are placed a cunning to secure the food once so 
difficult of attainment, and its relish. This is so 
near the neighborhood of the intellectual faculties 
as to explain the social cheer that so pleasantly 
accompanies its indulgence, and with Bibative- 
ness so makes glad the heart of man, giving to 
the social table that sunshine which the solitary 


meal of the prowler never knew. If the place of 
this instinct be not correctly found, at least, ap- 
parently, it should be there. This low belt to 
which we must add Acquisitiveness, the instinct 
of having and holding, on which society largely 
is founded, and the animal region behind the 
ears, is of that dumb blind sort which stimulates 
the intelligence to fulfil its ends, though itself 

O ' O 

incapable of thought. Continuing in front the 
belt of organs at the base of the brain wholly 
round, we come to that tier in front with which 
the senses and especially the eye are connected, 
and in which, in some cases, the animal race has 
an advantage over man where he needs it. 
Here are the faculties of Weight, of Measure- 
ment, of Form, and of Color, and at the angle of 
the brow the simple sentiment of Order, or the 
adjustment of things in their places. Language 
is supposed to be expressed by a certain promi- 
nence of the eye in its orbit, though, perhaps, 
that is the most disputable of all the organs ; 
for language would seem to be but the outlet, 
through speech, of the aggregate accumulations 
of the intelligence, subordinated to the glow of 
fancy, and warmed by the affections. Locality, 
or the sentiment of place, is in this tier. How 
conspicuously it differs in individuals, whether 


ante-natal or developed by use, we can all re- 
member. The dog has it, as do many animals, 
and in the pointer it is often conspicuous. 
Here, too, is Individuality, or the notice of par- 
ticulars. This is conspicuous in heads of Dar- 
win and Lyell. It accumulates facts. 

Now, if there be any thing in Phrenology, 
where should all these faculties be placed but 
just here? It is the battery of power which 
uses the eye, whether it be only the keen glance 
of a creature which discerns its prey, or the 
artistic outlook of a nature capable in this 
world of following somewhat the Creator's plan 
of beauty and order. 

In the centre of the forehead, above these is 
placed Eventuality, or the tendency to foresee, 
to connect events, and to prepare for the future. 
It deals directly with this world, and dreams 
of no other, and is placed where it should be by 
the law of symmetry. The great fulness in the 
centre of the forehead, man's sovereign faculty, 
the judgment, or " Causality," as it is poorly 
called, holds the same commanding and regal 
place as does the faculty in the mind of man. 
This is the seat of contemplation, the place of 
judgment and final decision of the mind. No 
mind is great without it; and, unless it be 


in the elephant, we scarcely find much token 
of it in the brute creation. It is the throne 
of thought ; to it are brought all the stores of 
learning, the history of the world, the spoil 
of science, for its final acceptance. It is the 
judicial faculty par excellence. Immediately 
above, at the angle where the forehead usually 
retreats, is Comparison ; this, as it were, holds 
the mighty scales before the judge. 

Thus far, the faculties we have enumerated are 
for the sustenance and continuation of the race, 
and of the intellectual use of the senses, without 
which life would be impossible to us, as to all 
creatures else. But here, at Comparison, begin 
curves which have no outlook directly into this 
world, but use what the lower faculties have ob- 
served and found, in a sportive and even sublime 
way of their own. A little above Comparison, 
to the right and left, is the faculty which en- 
joys the juxtaposition of thoughts not matched 
by Nature's order, but which it will match for 
its own enjoyment. This is Wit ; not the mere 
fun derived from accidental confusion and the 
comic mishaps of life, but an intellectual critic 
of this and all worlds. Its enjoyment is the 
felicity of man's nature. Without it, and its 
neighbor, a little nearer the top of the skull, 


Hope, with no outlook forward, but a blind faith 
in better things, man's life would be cheerless 
indeed. The tragedy of its losses and failures, 
would be more than he could contemplate with- 
out anguish. These two make the sunshine of 
the mind, and hapless indeed is his who is with- 
out them. 

Just at the curve of the forehead, behind com- 
parison, where intelligence begins to melt into 
the moral sentiments, a heavenly instinct is 
found. Its law is the reversal of the law of 
selfishness. It bids us not toil to get and hold 
possessions, but to share with others the good 
things of earth. Its reward is its indulgence. 
Happy he who knows the lovely impulse of 
Benevolence ! He is not acting from the earthly 
side of his nature, but is anticipating the rela- 
tion of spirits, and sharing with others, as here- 
after they may with him. Though controlled 
by that wise selfishness which makes self-pres- 
ervation a paramount power, it delights in try- 
ing to bridge over earthly inequalities ; and, 
when it gives material help, send a cheer and 
comfort into the heart of the recipient better 
than alms ; thus, while it disfurnishes itself of 
the values of earth, is enriched with that price- 
less treasure to which all other possessions are 
as dross. 


In a broad belt on either side, with no forward 
look, and yet, not like that of Reverence, with- 
drawn from all observation of things about us, 
is Ideality, the reconciling power which strives 
to make life and the world more beautiful than 
they are. This, in its lowest portion is Fancy, 
a combination of gay and agreeable thoughts, 
which, by the help of Comparison, can make ideas 
flowery with metaphor, while its neighbor, Wit, 
gives sparkle and brilliance to its play. A little 
behind the angle of the eye, is the sentiment of 
Harmony in music. This, too, has no direct out- 
look into the world : it has a side-place, and 
speaks a language of its own : but it draws 
material from life, its tragedies and its passions ; 
it gives them to us in their essence, or can, bor- 
rowing from the lofty region above it, thunder 
or plead, in harmony with the loftier moods of 
the mind, the promises of hope or the sublime 
intuitions of that reverential sentiment which 
finds in it its fittest expression. 

Above all these, at the top of the brain, but 
still well in advance of the ear, is the sentiment 
of Reverence. It faces the sky, and does not 
feed itself by notice of the things of earth. It 
is an intimation of something beyond ourselves 
and the scene we live in, and can never formu- 


larize itself in unassailed statement ; for it deals 
simply with the infinities of man's soul, and 
the Creator who gave it to him. How vainly 
does Mr. Buckle ask that it should share the 
conquering march of man's intelligence, when 
its home is far away from the paths of labor, 
with only Faith for its guide, while in speechless 
trust, it contemplates the heaven above it ! 

We have omitted to speak of an organ high 
up in the intellectual region among the idealities, 
and a little on one side of the head, called Imi- 
tation. This is the instinct which pushes the 
actor and the artist to a delight which no other 
organ could furnish. Its province is the world 
and man ; whether looked at as the victim of 
tragedy, or the sharer in comedy: and the art- 
ist, while considering man in both these as- 
pects, has the whole outward world for his field. 
It impels him to study the method of Nature, 
the different expressions of landscape, all its de- 
tails and the whole seen through aerial perspec- 
tive, till the horizon is but a blue line. This 
faculty makes itself felt in poetry and even 
in manners. When a person has it in excess, 
united with self-esteem, his friends find him 
" affected ; ' he lives the life of an actor, in 
every-day life, and poses unconsciously. Man's 


architecture, through its action, has always bor- 
rowed from Nature hints and suggestions. The 
old story of the basket, in Greece, through which 
the acanthus wound itself and thus gave to us 
the Corinthian order, but stands for what man 
has done in the architecture of every country. 
Its exercise is a pure delight; and though the 
world gratefully rewards the clever mimic, the 
noble actor, or the glorious artist, the impulse, 
independent of greed, finds itself best rewarded 
by those plaudits which are to it better than 
money. For, while it may caricature life, as 
well as ennoble its sorrows, it is a purely in- 
tellectual organ, and the world has alwa} r s so 
understood it. 

A line from the ear issuing at the skull's 
crown marks the home of that aplomb of char- 
acter, that downrightness which, as its place is 
not that of an intellectual faculty, expresses 
itself as Firmness and even Obstinacy which 
often no persuasion, no argument, can shake. 
Behind this, just where the head slopes back- 
ward resides the sentiment of Selfhood, Self- 
esteem, Egotism. Round this all the faculties 
should cluster in wise selfishness, which, aiming 
at happiness, does not disregard that of others. 
In the greatest minds, self-esteem is modified by 


a philosophic sense of man's short-coming, and 
the mystery of a universe he cannot fathom. 
It has, on either side, for direction and guid- 
ance, as rudders which should direct its move- 
ment always, Conscientiousness. Any one may 
see that this heavenly guide can only have its 
place as near as possible to the sentiment of 
Self. Without its sheltering wings, its forward 
pointing finger, man would drift, aimless, among 
his passions, or be driven hither and thither by 
each invitation of pleasure or whim. With a 
nature so incomplete and imperfect as ours, 
this eternal claimant for perfection, but too 
often ineffectually, makes its voice heard for 
guidance ; and in its tones we recognize the 
sad wail of contrition and remorse. 

In this slight sketch of our phrenological 
faculties, we have endeavored to show, very 
feebly indeed, that the place claimed for them 
is no mere pigeon-hole receptacle which chance 
gives. We have tried to show a symmetry, a 
harmony, through all ; how each balances the 
other ; how complex, without disorder, are the 
forces appointed for us to use ; and how, in- 
deed, a certain sublime beauty hovers about 
the architecture or the making up of our multi- 
form being. On reviewing the Avhole, we seem 


satisfied with a content which does not wholly 
come from fhidino; the mere relation of fact, in 


the home of our powers, with observations made 
from nature ; but we seem to behold a flower- 
like loveliness of relation, a harmony which may 
well be the ideal after which a God may work. 
That there may be other faculties, other pow- 
ers in higher orders of being elsewhere, is very 
possible ; but the intellectual and moral facul- 
ties, at least, must be there. And as these 
powers adjust themselves so nobly to the grand 
theatre upon which they are appointed to act, 
and as this world is day by day more and more 
understood to share in its elements and even in 
its conditions of being with the worlds around 
us, this cluster of faculties may well give man 
a confidence that he may be a freeman of the 
heavenly city, at home and no stranger in any 
of the countless globes about him. 

This mind, these powers, are hindered, as 
well as nourished, by the limiting environment 
of the body. Ill-health and a thousand acci- 
dents modify or defeat their perfection. The 
body is but their servant, a clog to their swift 
and bird-like activity. Easily do we imagine 
them, under material conditions more akin to 
their spiritual nature, blooming out into a 


happiness and beauty which has always been 
the dream of the elect. Without the lungs 
which we need to breathe our heavy air, with- 
out that fatalite du venire, the daily necessity 
of supplying the celestial lamp with the oil 
earth furnishes, without the pitiful limitations 
to movement which our poor limbs demand, 
the translated spirit may then exist. Man has 
always imagined something angelic, bird-like, 
superior to the delays of matter as we know it, 
and fed, as is the Medusa from the sea, by the 
direct infiltration of Divine love. Such a crea- 
ture, buoyant, brilliant, and moving with the 
swiftness of thought, may yet find his faculties, 
enlarged, yet the same, and fit for the compan- 
ionship of the Heavenly Host, his brothers of the 




~"\EATH must certainly be a catastrophe, but 
not so great a one probably as fear sug- 
gests. We may know nothing about it : as sleep 
shuts softly behind us its muffled doors, so may 
life. The mystery of sleep but refreshes body 
and soul with a new strength. And not only 
may the eternal morning come to us with dewy 
freshness, but its spiritual sun, whose sunshine 
is happiness, must make both the life of earth 
and death, something subterranean, dark, im- 
possible to remember. 

Our spiritual gossips, of the pine table, tell us 
that the transition was so easy that they gen- 
erally did not find it out till after it had hap- 
pened. They went on thinking and acting 
as if in this world, as Captain Munchausen's 
horse went on drinking after he had lost the 
backward half of his body. As Nature does not 
love shocks, and does all without violence, it is 
more than probable that it is our imagination 
only which pictures for us death as a terrible 


catastrophe. Yet it is the event of events. How 
it shall then be with us is the only substantially 
interesting question that the soul can ask. That 
it should ask it here often of the listening spirit, 
amid the perplexities and sins which follow life 
as shadow follows the sun, is best for us. That 
the disquietude which mingles with the answer 
should be lost in the peace which comes through 
righteousness is best of all. 

But there are events infinitely less important 
than death which may bring us near the cold- 
ness of its shadow. They are as many as are 
the possibilities of human misfortune. They 
alwa} r s stun and sober us. They remind us 
that we are mortal. Loss of fortune and friends, 
loss of health or good repute, lead off the long 
file of these foes of man's earthly happiness, 
and unmask so often to show they were angels 
in disguise. 

There are accidents which are not catastro- 
phes, trifling or important, from the cut finger 
to the loss of a limb. Of the graver accidents 
one does not care to speak. But of one, how- 
ever grave, which carries with it assurance of a 
full recovery we may even like to talk. We 
play with our enemy and taunt him as he retreats. 
Though he pressed us to the earth with ease, 


when we are again ourselves we like to think 
we made a good fight, that we held and shook 
him at arm's length, though, really, when he met 
us, we were less than nothing in his terrible 

Was it to make our last experience of activity 
pleasant, or the love of contrast, which made 
fate jump on us so unexpectedly? Was the din- 
ner too good, the conversation too cheerful, that 
last thread of talk which Atropos with shears 
cut short, too dear? So it was. When Boston is 
sheathed in ice, and up and down its steep hills, 
without insurance, a walk is a criminal pleasure, 
then it was on the edge of an ice-clad curbstone, 
curved and polished like the rail of a stair-land- 
ing, out of digestion's dreamland up went one 
foot skyward, inviting the other to follow, which 
it gladly would have done but that it was im- 
prisoned by the curbstone. 

As a tooth is pulled out with a wrench, so 
that belated leg was extracted. And as the 
dentist drops on the floor a molar which a little 
while before was priceless and now is naught, 
so did cruel Fate drop that hurt life upon the 
sidewalk. Here was a chance for philosophy. 
It instantly took advantage of it, and began the 
contemplation from the point of view of that 


second party, the alter ego, which, makes a man 
actor and critic at the same time. 

The city, viewed from the level of a sidewalk, 
put on a new aspect, when made suddenly con- 
scious of what a shining deception it is. The 
arms were extended, as it were around the globe, 
in the effort to hold on. How high the houses 
looked! and the light in friendly rooms, how 
mocking and unattainable I The other side of 
the street mostly disappeared. A fine line of 
Alpine crests, which night could not darken, rose 
between. It was well that to lie there in a 
warm cloak, with no desire to discover the worst, 
left that second party so much of a philosopher. 
It seemed like an incident of a novel by Alex- 
andre Dumas, where the hero, thrust through 
and through by a rapier, comfortably waits for 
the opening of the next chapter. 

That opening soon came, heralded by tinkling 
bells and in the person of Boston's blessed 
Booby ; two of them on the outside. The world 
knows no such ambulance, as the low-stooping 
motherly arms of Boston's darling ; and so home 
was reached by a not too impatient cripple. 

People do like to hear about the mishaps of 
their neighbors. A Rochefoucault can be found 
in the corner of many a one's mind who loves 


us dearly. And an accident is not without its 
charm. It is like seeing a man fall in the ranks 
at our side. How do we know the ball was not 
meant for us ? Why, simply because it hit him, 
and so we feel let off once more. In England, 
insanity is considered a disgrace. A family is 
too proud to let the world peep in and mock it 
with pity. If one sort of pity is akin to love, 
certainly such a one is akin, to hate. Whoever 
heard of taking a skeleton out of the closet and 
putting it over the front-door ? Not only pride 
forbids it, but the neighbors would be hurt, for 
they mean to do their own peeking. They do 
not wish frankly to have the game come and 
surrender, for they love the excitement of the 
chase. Wherefore, it is pleasant to know that 
this avowal of misfortune is not written in such 
shameful fulness by the sufferer, but by that sec- 
ond party who overlooks and sometimes takes 
notes Avithout his friend's knowing it. That 
friend would be ashamed of such a revelation. 
He knows that a wounded animal leaves the 
herd to die ; and that Nature - - its passions and 
its woes do need a veil. 

When a house, no longer a nest from which 
we take flight every morning, becomes a prison, 
it is important that our prison should be com- 


fortable ; for it is then the only world we have. 
If it should have three long rooms through 
which the air from a lifted window draws not 
too harshly, if the bits of straw and earth with 
which we have plastered our nest should be a 
satisfaction to us, it were well. If, instead of 
bare prison walls and the deformities of fashion, 
we get a glimpse outside of nature and beauty 
through little canvases into which some master- 
hand has distilled the essence of both these, it 
were still better ; and if within, the eye can 
fall upon pretty objects from remote places, re- 
minding us of happy days of toilsome travel 
and the enjoyment of liberty, it were best of all. 
Every thing is relative. One can be as mis- 
erable as a miser with all the world can offer. 
Bruce, Picciola, and Bonnivard teach us how 
to make the most of what is left when all but 
a patient spirit and life are gone. As our hori- 
zon narrows, we learn to value but the more 
what it encloses. And there is the pleasure 
of endurance : to feel that something presses 
against us which we resist. Sickness, poverty, 
imprisonment, may each prove an angel with 
whom we may wrestle through the long hours 
of the night, and morning shall find us but 
stronger for the contest. There is something 


medicinal in the touch of the cold hand of 
Calamity. It is a tonic for self-indulgence. 
Desire diffused through the sunshine of too 
much pleasure exhales as does cologne from an 
open vial. Unrest runs by his side who searches 
too fast, and too far, for happiness. Satiety 
drugs excess with stupor. But calamity teaches 
us the content which these cannot. The anxiety 
of choice is calmed where no choice is possible. 
Peace may sit beside the bedside where Pain is 
no unfrequent visitor. As we lie inert and 
helpless upon the bed, the very touch of whose 
covering thrills us with distress, we teach our 
nerves a quietude, which is to them a useful 
lesson. This king of creation, once so proud of 
his strength, so eager with tumultuous prefer- 
ences, exchanges his royalty for the weakness 
and docility of a little child. He lies as he did 
at his birth upon the knees of Nature, and looks 
up to her, pleading for her nursing care and 
motherly regard. 

He and the world have now so changed their 
relations to each other that it takes time to 
adjust them and accept the new situation. At 
first he is stunned, discouraged, and misses 
the old personality. He, the proud ship which 
crashed the billows as they came, is now a 


stranded hulk, with torn rigging and broken 
spars. About the immovable bulk, the tide 
ripples in slender lines, while far out at sea it 
beholds the sunshine on clouds of canvas as the 
mighty creatures come and disappear. The 
great life goes on about it ; but it shares it not. 
It is caught in the silent sands, the soft pro- 
tection of an uneventful beach. If it were only 
a wreck for the winds and waves to shatter, if 
it were to bleach there till the last rope parted, 
the last plank gave way, it would be sad indeed. 
But hope survives with a consciousness of re- 
generating powers, a life behind the momentary 
death. These are comforts and consolers. 

The world swims before dying eyes, and there 
are maladies which make the face turn toward 
the shining beyond death's black portals. Life 
and the world, then are as friends to whom we 
prepare to say farewell. As the silver cord 
loosens, so does our hold upon the things and 
purposes we grasped most closely. 

But where there is no sickness, but only an 
injury which time and care will medicate, the 
outlook is wholly different. The alter ego feels 
his ties to things relax, but he does not wholly 
drop his hold. He is sequestrated, but not 
banished. His order of release shall come, and 


not that of execution. And so he watches his 
fellow-men, their busy ways and the onward 
march of his nation, as one who may yet stand 
in the ranks. He remembers that, 

" They also serve who only stand and wait." 

And, if he be only for a while a looker-on, it is 
with impatient interest that he is so. 

Thus, though he does not abdicate his fellow- 
ship with humanity, he sees all things from the 
level of his low-lying pallet and his chastened 
pulses. For a long time he lies there, the slave 
of immobility and silence. His spirit has no 
wings, but droops wounded and irresolute. The 
earth withdraws ; for the senses which gave 
him intercourse with it have receded to gain 
strength. Hope hovers unseen,. for the mind's 
eye cannot see so far. Longing and confidence 
are born of the body's strength, and as yet it is 
too weak to animate him. He sees things as in 
a vision. And he thinks himself somewhat a 
disembodied spirit. Personality which made 
him what he was, and passion which gave im- 
pulse and ardor to his choice, fade to a thinness 
in which they are lost. But the mind, active as 
ever, demands its nourishment, and finds it in 
beautiful memories of the past, speculations 
concerning the soul and its destiny, and obser- 


vations of the little rworld within its reach. His 
calamity makes for him an impartiality which 
the fever of life disturbed. He gets to look at 
things as they are, or as he now thinks they are, 
unmingled with himself. His body placed itself 
between them and the sun of truth, darkening 
their clearness and projecting falsifying shad- 
ows. This impartiality comes to the sick and 
dying as the measure of their mistakes ; and its 
sacred revelations belong to hours which may 
almost be considered the first of the life to come. 

But his impartiality is but an incomplete 
disillusion as to the treasures which man values. 
It is the judgment rather which holds the scales, 
and not the soul. There is a glimpse of eternal 
verities, after which it cannot return to a dis- 
tasteful world and again bear its part in the 
busy hive of men. But his is the happy pause 
which brings the careening vessel to an even 
keel, the mark of a new departure, the clarity 
of reason, the illumination of conscience. 

The motive forces of both mind and body are 
quiet and unruffled by life's gales : all things 
become mirrored truly in its central calm. 

How different things look in perspective if 
the point of sight be changed ! Did you ever 
drive through a familiar street from the high 


perch of a stage box, when before you knew 
it only from the lower level of the sidewalk ? 
You hardly recognize your own town, your own 
Washington street. And so, from the level of 
the floor, Boston has a new look for us. Meas- 
ured by our inertia, how they flit about the 
streets ! with what prodigality of gesture, and 
strides which to a lame man are criminally care- 
less ! The whole city seems in a ferment. It is 
all twisting and turning like a bag full of eels. 
What is it all about ? And is the city again on 
fire ? Who dares to call Boston a sober, dull 
town? The young people I see are ever coin- 
ing and going. They never get enough of 
pleasure. Dinners and concerts and balls and 
Art shows, and Moody and Sankey to top off 
with ! Hurry, hurry, for the season is soon 
over, and of all these jollities none will be left. 
And where do they all go to? As sings 
Hans Breitmann, 

" Last night I gave a barty, 
Vere is dat barty now ? " 

Recorded, ticketed, photographed, somewhere, 
no doubt. There they will count for something; 
but here these costly and fatiguing satisfac- 
tions pass us by, like wind blowing through the 
hair. And from our low pallet how passionless 


look the intrigues of contending nations, how 
dull the roll of Sclavonic drums, when one is not 
even " a looker-on in Vienna." And what a book 
to read now is Lanfrey's Napoleon ! Can it be 
any thing but a crazy world or a crazy Gover- 
nor which commits to such selfishness as Napo- 
leon's all that it values ? 

Because of that poor trick of military genius 
he had, a knack in that great game where men 
are ninepins, that moral coward, that measure- 
less liar, was for a while as a God upon earth. 
He was the cleverest and the wickedest man 
in his army. He not only possessed no true 
nobleness, no love of goodness, no tenderness, 
no friendship, but his iron soul ploughed them 
out as they stood in his way. And of this rage 
for criminality, this fanaticism of destruction, 
what was the moving power ? Could he have 
told himself? A colossal greed, a love of that 
glory which holds but a lying trumpet, and is 
but a vapor of the brain ? No : for all his per- 
sonality, he was impersonal ; an instrument in 
the hand of a power better and wiser than he 

The newspapers, as the days and nights melt 
into each other, what a log they keep of swift- 
running time ! they pelt each other like the 


flakes in a snow-storm. What a mirror are 
they of the planet ! What an instantaneous 
photograph, which fixes all its busy crowds, as 
the procession of living things passes before 
the eye ! How proud are we if we discover any 
thought, any words of ours, moving with the 
rest ! How we think the editor who inserts our 
article does not consider us quite dead yet ! 
Our vanity is pleased that we still count among 
the living for so much. 

It is worth while to be ill or injured by a fall 
if only to find out how kind the world is. Just 
as our gayety is eclipsed and we are taught hu- 
mility by the check we receive, just then, when 
we need it most, this kindness shows itself with 
delightful unexpectedness. We count for so 
little in our own eyes, it seemed but natural 
that our friends should forget us. But here 
they come, and not once only, with their hearts 
full of sympathy and their hands full of gifts. 
They cover our wounds with flowers^ and heal 
our hurts with the balm of their kindness. If 
we liked them before, we love them now. 
These handsome, fashionable women, leaving for 
a sick-bed their pleasant occupations, touches us 
with a gratitude which we shall not forget. 
How tall and stately they look, wearing their 


beautiful dresses, which iu our disrobed condi- 
tion we notice as never before ! And the friend 
who snatches from business his half-hour to 
cheer us with news of himself, or the gossip of 
the town, shall we not remember his thought- 
ful friendship, his considerate attention, where 
neglect were so easy ? 

All these proofs that it is a good world we 
live in ; that our fellow-creatures have not the 
cold hearts the cynics have told us ; that the 
most occupied life can go beyond itself to re- 
member a stricken deer, come at a time when 
we need them most. 

To die among one's kindred has been a long- 
ing of man from the first. To be ill and suffer 
among one's kindred is equally a longing of the 
spirit ; for it establishes, where most we have a 
right to claim it, the bond of a common human- 
ity. But to die among strangers, to see the 
cooling draught never held if held at all but 
in a mercenary hand, adds an anguish to the 
solemn hour indeed hard to bear. To hear no 
words of sympathy, to see no eye which looks 
pity and compassion, gives a sting to the loneli- 
ness of disease which our weakened nature can- 
iiot endure. 

I remember a funeral at Rome which had an 


indescribable sadness. It was the funeral of an 
unknown American whom none of those who 
attended it because he was a countryman, had 
ever seen. And as we stood there in Rome's 
beautiful Protestant burying-place with un- 
covered heads, the melancholy wind blowing 
through our hair, while the son of England's 
great moral poet read the touching, solemn 
service for the dead, we felt the pathos en- 
hanced by an ignorance who it was for whom 
these last rites were rendered. A negro servant 
stood in tears beside the grave. He only knew 
his master's na*me, and that he came from New 
York. But the bond of a common country, a 
common humanity, lent sufficient dignity to 
that lonely death to disarm it of something of 
its poignancy. " Bury me among my people," 
whispered every heart as we silently withdrew. 
But the hours of convalescence, how delight- 
ful are they ! As the sun mounts in the heaven 
with the rejoicing of spring-time, and the grass 
visibly deepens its green, hope within us soars 
as the birds do, and our desolation clothes itself 
with verdure that shall not long wait for flowers. 
And see, they are already beside us. These May- 
flowers, which are a token and a pledge of the 
coming happiness, how lovely are they in their sil- 


ver, tipped with rose ! And how their fragrance 
breathes of the open field, of the unchained 
music of the dimpling brooks, and the warm 
sunshine which lies on the hill and meadow ! 

Spring is the only time one should recover 
in from any hurt or sickness. We and it then 
both move together, nor feel as in the chill, nar- 
row days of winter our elasticity and gaining 
strength repressed by the season's inclemency. 
For if spring come to all as a boon and a bless- 
ing, how doubly so is it to him who has been 
exiled from the blithe air and the curative ten- 
derness of the young sunshine ! And when at 
last, with faltering steps, we leave our prison 
behind us, and in the morning's glow sit or stand 
amid the happy groups, how intoxicating is the 
open day, what a bath of bliss to our weary 
frame is the dazzling atmosphere ! And they 
seem borrowed from spring's sunshine, the 
smiles of welcome of passing friends, and blood- 
warm the hands which tenderly touch our own 
in congratulation. We are again among our 
fellows and at the year's best hour. May we all 
of us, having known the hours of shadow, discover 
ere long the joy of convalescence, with friends 
about us, with birds to cheer us, and the season's 
invitation gladdening our recovered strength. 



{Read before the Bric-a-Brac Club, January 17, 1877.) 

'"T^HIS evening I am to speak to the Club a few 
words upon Textile Materials. For that 
is the name given to all stuffs wrought by the 
loom. I would naturally rather speak of these 
artistically than learnedly, but a few facts are 
well enough for us all to know. The stuffs 
by me here are Oriental, and of these only I 
shall speak. These rugs, sombre with sup- 
pressed fire, why do they so impress us ? It is 
that they hint of a dim past, a struggle for life 
through many experiments in pattern and color, 
and for their rich suggestion rather than exact 
statement. The date of the first carpet is not 
known, but they are mentioned in the earliest 
writings. In the East they do not overlie 
wooden floors as with us, but floors of stone, to 
which they are not fitted, but upon which they 
are placed. The Orientals do not make much of 
paintings. Their walls are not hung with them. 
For them their beautiful carpet is picture 
6* i 


enough. Not that they try to make one of it, 
of landscape and animals, as sometimes the 
moderns have done, for some of us have seen a 
lion roaring before the fender, and upon whom 
we could harmlessly place our feet. Yet there 
are accounts of early work representing deer in 
a forest and the like, but now the Orientals 
always recognize the purpose the rug serves, and 
nothing but what may be a flat is represented. 
Variations upon lines and colors practically are 
not infinite. Long ago their favorite patterns 
were found, and the survivor of the fittest 
became the rule here as elsewhere. The jew- 
elled lattice-work of Persia, the knotted line 
doing and undoing itself, the suggestion of 
flowers rather than their representation, a hint 
here and there of an animal, a bird, but nothing 
more, and all set upon a ground dark and 
neutral to give relief and value, is the art of 
the Oriental. For a pure color, so placed, so 
contrasted, will burn like a jewel, when a 
wider surface wearies the eye. Color is dealt 
to us by the Oriental artist as something pre- 
cious. He gives us a drop to taste : he never 
drenches us with it. This homoeopathic prin- 
ciple of suppression, a low tone sought, with 
here and there a sparkle of color, and the 


kindred one, suggestion, rather than representa- 
tion of form ; and one other point of good art, 
which we find the more, the farther we go back, 
namely, correspondence without identity ; parts 
which seem to match, but where a difference is 
preserved : these form the basis of the merit of 
Oriental art. The learned consider Persia to 
have been the point of departure of the art of 
weaving carpets, for in India the same patterns 
are found with a greater resemblance as they 
approach that country's borders. But even the 
finest Persian carpets seem made of worsteds, 
while the best of Indian ones are made of silk. 
At "Worungal, Rungpore, and Sasseram, there 
are wrought carpets of cotton ; but those of 
Ahmedabad, though cotton, have printed not 
woven patterns* 

But it is not my affair to give you facts as to 
the methods of weaving of any stuffs, or the 
details or dates of any manufacture. Enough 
for us to bow reverently before the genius of 
that East, our parent in so much, and to enjoy, 
without trying to analyze too carefully, the 
method of its charm and beauty. We can see 
there, through fancy's help, the dusky mother of 
our race sitting silent before her loom ; and 
coming down the ages, past the majestic Bible 


figures so occupied, we glance at Andromache 
and Helen, many an English and French queen, 
all deriving their pleasant labor from a Persian 
brain, till finally we witness the last tribute to 
Persia's invention in its acceptance and repro- 
duction in so many modern carpets at our own 

We have here precious fragments of the 
Alhambra. These veined lines, cut in the 
surface, show the march of the Orient alone the 


Mediterranean's border until it leaped into Spain. 
These lime-stone blocks, with their symmetri- 
cal web of lines, painted, not cut on the surface, 
and then covered with a glaze, the East dis- 
covered ; this makes the Damascus tile which is 
so famous to this day. The hall has a double 
line of these tiles two hundred years old. This 
Damascus art was the foundation of Majolica 
and all the Italian faience. Moving along the 
African shore with the armies of Mahomet, it 
sprang to Majorca and elsewhere ; but it got its 
name Majolica from that island. Italy then 
abounded in men of genius, who delighted to 
use this new material as a vehicle for it. How 
beautiful their work was, Signor Castellani has 
shown us at Philadelphia. 

Cut-work, which was the old name for patch- 


work, is the technical title for pieces united, bit 
by bit, to make a symmetrical whole ; and the 
use of it, as here for bed-quilts, goes well back 
in the past. This Herzegovinian work is em- 
broidery for bed-quilts ; and we can imagine, if 
we choose, the quilting bee of New England out- 
lining an Asian hillside, which has the merry 
chatter of Connecticut, tempered there by the 
gravity of a life which has so little to communi- 

Here are Damascus silks woven with gold and 
silver. In the East the value of personal im- 
portance is enhanced by richness of dress. 
There they do not as here try to prove all men 
are born free and equal by shutting them up in 
an equality of dull colors. They would scarcely 
be excited to delight at beholding a group of 
our gentlemen at an evening party. Their 
mournful black would seem meant rather to 
discourage than enhance social gayety. Fortu- 
nate in their barbarism, they retain at least 
something of the joy of the natural animal ; 
while we, believing in brain and all the penal- 
ties it brings, studiously abandoning the source 
of our instincts, will soon present that faded 
figure, the " Coming man," and his great grand- 
mother, the gorilla, will not then recognize her 


offspring. But the past is splendid in gold and 

The psalmist says that " the daughter of 
Pharaoh's raiment was of wrought gold," and 
" for Aaron sacred vestments were made, an 
ephod of gold, violet and purple, and scarlet 
twice dyed." When the soft Darius went to bat- 
'tle, the "waist part of the royal purple tunic was 
wove in white, and upon his mantle of cloth of 
gold were figured two golden hawks, as if peck- 
ing at one another with their beaks." From 
that Damascus, where still lingers this fading 
splendor, as of a belated dawn, thousands of 
those gentlemen who came out from that city 
to meet Alexander's victorious general, Parmenio, 
wore robes splendid with gold and purple. An 
Indian king, visiting Alexander with his two 
sons, was so clad. Nature permits such extrav- 
agance in countries where she leads off. Her 
pheasant there, like an Indian king, moves in 
an attire of gold and silver. Later, even the 
martyrs disdained not such earthly glory. St. 
Cecilia was found by the pontiff in her arched 
niche of the catacomb, which we have many of 
us seen, dressed in a garment wrought all of 
gold ; for she was a high-born lady. Cousin to 
her namesake, Cecilia Metella, whose round, for- 


tress-like tomb almost gazes down upon her 
grave, apparently St. Cecilia, from her share of 
the family estate, could privately admit her 
Christian friends to worship in the catacomb 
without espial by their enemies. To under- 
stand this profuse use of gold in early days, *we 
must remember it was like California now, so 
abundant that the supply seemed endless. Only 
thus can we understand, that whole statues 
of it were given in offering in Grecian tem- 
ples ; and how complacently Solomon refers to 
the gold plating of his temple. Ophir had 
enriched him and given to his race that taste 
so pleasant to their nerves, that they have 
quested for it ever since. Fortunately, at first 
that gold knew not of alloy. It was thus imper- 
ishable in its purity ; for in the last; astonishing 
collection of General di Chesnola on whose ac- 
quisition by us, I congratulate you from the 
treasure house at Kurium, the silver ornaments 
were found partially oxidized, while the gold 
was perfect. And Schlieman's recent discov- 
eries, at Mycenae, of the tombs, perhaps even of 
Agamemnon and his family, are the latest and 
best proof of this. We read of gold cups and 
bowls, and even the heavy handles of swords, of 
that metal uninjured by time. 


At first the gold for weaving was cut in long 
flat strips. It was not till later that it was 
found, by folding it could be made round. 
Though usually wrought with silk, dresses all 
of gold were afterwards made. Its ductility 
allowed of the finest wire. Tombs of the mid- 
dle ages, all over Christendom, showed lying 
fresh, untarnished, where all mortal remains 
had perished, strips from this rich gold work 
of theirs. The eastern end of the Mediterra- 
nean was the head-quarters of all this fine work 
in silk and gold. Patterns, imitated to deceive 
from Persia, would place the cross beside Per- 
sia's sacred pine, and be thus detected. Chris- 
tendom here and there attempted an imitation 
with success, but Cyprus gold had that eastern 
flavor which we still recognize now and enjoy, 
as they did. Cyclatoun and Baudekin, the names 
of ancient stuffs, have a rich sound : Baudekin 
still survives in Baldichino. But the fancy is 
most taken with the old name for that stuff of 
silk and gold, which gleams with such soft 
lustre in the " Idyls of the King." Samite, 
" clothed all in samite ; " this seems the risrht web 


in which to drape those shining, elusory figures 
of the morning prime of England's history. 
One would think the Eastern man had in- 


vented the kaleidoscope, for its movable, ever- 
varying harmonies of transparent color seem to 
belong to him. But, after all, it was only a 
Scotchman, Sir David Brewster, who did. This 
Orient, whence we all came, seems to be redis- 
covered from time to time. Though for a long 
time ladies, up and down Christendom, had 
been seen with the shawls of Cashmere sloping 
from their shoulders, yet at the earlier English 
and French Expositions the full beauty of East- 
ern work was for the first time apprehended. 
At first it was a wonder : a salutation followed ; 
this ended in desire. Not the shawl now suf- 
fices, but every house must enrich itself with 
the woven jewelry of Persia, or India, and, later 
still, swarm with the intelligent fantasy of Japan. 
The give and take of life is now at its highest. 
That unsupplied corner of our minds which 
Japan is fit to fill, has waited as long as it has 
for what we can furnish Japan. And such are 
the attaching felicities of their art, that every- 
body talks Eastern rug, Japanese lacquer, and 
the poor Cashmere shawl of our grandmothers is 

Books have been written of this marvellous 
island, with its snow-crested volcano ; and sharp, 
eager faces under Parisian bonnets might have 


been seen lately at Philadelphia striving to 
strike a spark with their flint from the impas- 
sive faces of the Mikado's subjects or the citron- 
colored citizens of the floweiy land. For a new 
sensation in the world is priceless. The genius 
who can furnish it now shall be well regarded 
by bank-clerks, and with the people which pro- 
vides it will we make treaties as with the most 
favored nation. 

One can see Horace Walpole, whose Dresden 
china soul had all the cold glitter of porcelain, 
amorously inspecting a Chinese maggot. He 
preached the new sensation of his time. Japan 
was unknown, and the carpet of Aladdin might 
have visited the Princess of China, but did not 
much descend from the skies upon the expec- 
tant West. The Expositions of London and 
Paris were needed to diffuse these seeds of de- 
sire for Oriental art, which a readier intercourse 
than of old could indulge. In nothing are the 
fine lines of Shakspeare truer, 

" A substitute shines brightly as a king, 
Until a king be by." 

and when the splendid Persian textiles appeared, 
Europe soon learned to bow as before a king. 
The absurd patterns of English and French car- 
pets, with small recognition of the purpose for 


which they were made, or the space they were 
to occupy ; with crude splashes of color, or ab- 
surdly naive imitations of natural objects, 
blushed, ashamed of themselves ; and at our late 
show nothing was more striking than our submis- 
sion to the wand of the Eastern magician, the 
adoration of Persia or Hindostan to be found 
in the patterns of European and American car- 
pets. As to porcelain and pottery, all dishes 
and cups now posture and try to pass for natives 
of Japan. The artist of Worcester or Etruria 
is forced by the power of fashion to caper and 
wind after the manner of those islanders. 

We gain by this contact, this fresh sensation, 
this subtle, capricious newness of Japan ; but we 
think they must lose by touching us, and they 
will. The genuineness, the native elan, which 
furnished their art, will suffer, watered by our 
commonplaces. They may even imitate some 
second-rate mistakes of our own, so great a 
charm 'has novelty. But we with difficulty do 
justice to the passionate longing of a superior 
race, imprisoned in its solitary seas, with minds 
like fountains equal to rising to the mountain 
level of any spring of thought, when discovering 
our world of science and knowledge. And they 
may throw away as baubles the too familiar 


things of home, in the eagerness to gratify this 
longing from our overflowing supplies. 

When we think of a child of the Mikado 
working the wire of the telegraph, or construct- 
ing a steamer, we have a glimpse of a possibly 
near millennium. As a friend of ours said to 
his neighbor, a Russian, at one of the splendid 
tables d'hote by Lake Leman, where lions were 
lying down with lambs to the right and left, and 
every nation of Europe was represented, " How 
do you know but we are living in the millen- 
nium without knowing it ? ' 

Without attempting to fathom the grotesque 
art of China, or its saner sister of Japan, let us 
look at the rug of India, and see if it can tell us 
any thing. We will take the rug as a brick 
from the Babylon of their fancy, one thing to 
stand for all. There are rugs from various 
cities of India : the Caucasus sends its rug, the 
Himalaya another, and we can walk on carpets 
all the way to the Bosphorus, where, on- seeing 
the rug offered to our feet by Turkey, we notice 
cheapness and vulgarity of form and color as if 
the magic of the East were fading before the 
prosier daylight of Western life. 

But in all those Eastern rugs there is the 
charrn of that magic. There is a tangle, an 


intricacy of lines and tints, which lead on the 
fancy. If the form of a known object is at- 
tempted, it is carefully half blotted out. We see 
something struggling up which we do not ex- 
haust and set aside as known, but we muse, as 
over the forms in crumbling embers, on touches of 
smouldering fire, here and there a coil of flowers, 
and lattices and garden borders, where the eye 
wanders without satiety. The restraint in use 
of colors as well as their harmony, the tempered 
minor key of their splendor, is something better 
to live with than the me voild f of Kidderminster 
or more aristocratic Wilton. On looking long 
and lovingly at these rugs, of which we get so 
fond, we question them for their secret. Some- 
thing is whispered there by that Arachne of the 
mind which wove these tissues, alien to our brain. 
Their evident good taste as to garishness may 
lead us at first to overvalue them. But behind, 
is left that which at once we recognize as gen- 
uine, a natural, not an artificial, growth. 

The East, old as it is, yes, the oldest of coun- 
tries, is yet barbaric, if we take the pale deco- 
rum of Christendom for civilization. With great 
skill, after many efforts, we have succeeded in 
nearly killing the natural man in us. Conven- 
tionality, generations of artificial livers, have 


taken the color out of Anglo-Saxon life. The 
savage in us is so overlaid with broadcloth, 
studiously cheerless, that the natural skin is not 
only not seen, but when seen has nothing of the 
delightful health of the fellah's or the Nubian's. 
We have missed our maternal monkey, and have 
not yet reached the angelhood for which we 
pine. Falling between these two, with only 
illusory dreams to feed us, with no root in life 
as has the natural man, we wander on ever 
farther from the bliss of the simple instincts, 
clutching bank-notes and brick houses, any straw 
to stay us, while the man that nature meant is 

The East may be as effete as we are, or more 
so ; but she keeps the tradition of her better time. 
Haroun al Raschid is hinted at in these beau- 
tiful works, and his successors have not for- 
gotten the trick of the ancient charm. For as 
we think of him, as painted by Tennyson, in the 
jewelled, perfumed shadows of his Bagdad 
barge, so, in their way suggesting mystery and 
jewels, glance at us these woven wonders. And 
we must remember that, as the Western man 
suppresses his nature, takes color and tropes out 
of his speech, shuts down to his side the ges- 
tures which passion inspires, so also he effaces 


himself, and makes a negation of the vanity 
which should love to assert itself in rich clothing. 
In full contrast to this, the sunny Oriental inten- 
sifies his personality with language, gesture, and 
all gorgeousness of apparel. To. be able to say 
that he feels fine and likes it, the diver cuts for 
the pearl the blue wave of the Persian Gulf, 
the shadowy jeweller in many a bazaar is teas- 
ing the gold with frets of beauty, and glassy 
waves of creamy silk are flowing from brown 
fingers in many a khan ; and thus the splen- 
dor he believes in, he gets. Our ornamenta- 
tion is carelessly, unenthusiastically purchased ; 
but the Oriental believes in his. "Nigger 
fine," he thinks, means not bad taste, but a 
human being made as glorious as may be, to 
express majesty and power, and to match earth's 
splendors about him. The secret of good work 
is, first, that it should be made by hand and not 
by machinery. The most excellent machinery 
has no soul. There is not a heart behind it ; 
whereas the rudest work of the hand has one. 
Secondly, the workman should be an artist and 
not a mechanic ; only so can the best work be 
done. Daily, machinery is supplanting work 
by the hand ; daily, the artist degenerates into 
the mere mechanic. Thus in the end we get a 


wide diffusion of pretty, inexpressive, unper- 
sonal work ; and we have to go to the past Avhen 
artists deigned to labor, or to the East, where 
mechanical processes are of the simplest, to get 
objects that fairly satisfy our taste. Grace and 
beauty came at the Oriental's bidding, for they 
knew his invitation was from the heart. They 
were pleased to go where they were valued, and 
often withhold their presence from the votary 
of fashion, who invests with no personality any 
thing of his attire. And woman now is the 
slave of some lamp which shines in the hand of 
fantasy in France ; or that pale lamp by which 
in England the subject of Hood's song sat pain- 
fully sewing, and which, has for its magician 
neither Beauty nor Color, but the volatile whim- 
sical creature the world calls Fashion. Her wheel 
ever turns. She denies to-day what yesterday 
she affirmed. She crazes the mind by auda- 
cious unveracities, till at last in her subjects 
the sense of Beauty dies out. It cannot live in 
that kaleidoscopic whirl. Beauty is too perma- 
nent and calm for that, and there remains, in- 
stead of freedom and love of it in the victim's 
mind, submission, and at the best, instead of 
Beauty, Taste. But Beauty unchanging lives in 
the East. 




TT was autumn in that beautiful part of Ger- 
many so vitally connected with its spiritual 
regeneration, and where Luther for so long 
found a home, and which has pleasant Eisenach 
for its chief town. And fortunately the time 
of our little tale was before the French Revolu- 
tion. The terror of war, conscription, and 
the ruined homestead, had not yet left their 
scars upon so beautiful a country side. Though 
in France, before that event, the peasantry had 
been brought to the verge of starvation ; and 
gayety and rustic games could not live in the 
presence of the corve and the galelle, there 
remained in Germany a continuation of the 
feudal system for peasants that was not without 
its charm. We are startled by the utter igno- 
rance of the condition of its people, as displayed 
both by its writers and the nobility in France. 
There was even then a reign of sentimentality 
which pictured idyllic conditions of rural life, 
an insult to the famine around, had either of 
7 j 


these classes known of it. Florian and Gessner 
drew pictures from their imagination, as if de- 
scribing scenes of an opera, where Colin and 
Fleurette danced to the music of the village fid- 
dler or with garlanded houlette, like Lycidas, led 
their flocks through fields in the domain of poetry. 
But the sturdy German peasant and his careful 
housewife still were a reality. They would sit in 
the sun in their Sunday best, the one knitting, 
and the other with his faithful mug of beer at 
his side. And the spirit of rustic games and 
merry intercourse was not frozen at its source 
by want. In the shallow and umbrageous val- 
leys, not far from Eisenach, in the golden even- 
ings of October, the tabor might be heard and 
the music of careless laughter. Sometimes these 
village fetes would include the young people 
of neighboring hamlets ; and then something 
like the scenes of kirmesse, as painted by 
Teniers, might be witnessed. 

The youth of both sexes in their best apparel 
would meet there. The young women in snowy 
caps, jaunty bodices, and light woollen gowns, 
so short that the admiring eye could in the dance 
not fail to see with admiration the clocks of the 
neat stockings drawn over shapely limbs. And 
as the rustic admirer cared not to conceal his 


content, the rose of coquetry would burn with 
a blush which only made the golden ear-rings 
the mother had lent a more sparkling contrast. 
The young fellows disported with a boyish 
energy somewhat out of keeping with their style 
of dress which seemed too old for them. What 
later generations have seen of such a style they 
associate with the survivors of that era ; and to 
them the dress seems only suitable for the 
old. The flat cocked hat, the long and broad- 
skirted coat, breeches, ribbed stockings, and metal 
shoe-buckles, did not compose an ensemble dis- 
pleasing to their partners of the dance. All 
knew each other, as belles and rivals do ; that is, 
they knew each other by their good or ill looks 
and their faults. Jealousy can flame as hotly in 
the dull breast of a peasant as it could in the 
African heart of Othello. Nor is it necessary 
to go to courts for scandal. The clumsy arrow 
which drove the poisoned barb was shot with as 
lusty a will, as long practice in such archery 
could give the most accomplished courtier. For 
the glance of malice, there was no fan with 
its ambush. Every thing was downright, hearty 
give and take, which meant little harm. And 
yet a careless word, a neglectful slight, would 
leave a wound which rankled for many days, 


when the compacter square of dances would 
dissolve in eddies of that one with which Ger- 
many has dowered the world, the waltz ; and 
little preferences, little repulsions, were visible 
as partners were taken or rejected. All this 
was noticed by a figure unobserved by every 
one, stationary and pensive, while all else was 
gayety and movement. 

Both sexes, occupied with each other, were 
too busy to notice it. Could they have done 
so, their attention would have been arrested by 
the pleased but pensive expression of his face. 
While the restless and sympathetic eyes wan- 
dered inquisitively over every dancer's counte- 
nance and action, there was in the somewhat 
worn and mobile mouth and brow, a far-away 
look of recovered youth, memories of his own 
spring-time, and pity for the winter frosts 
which chill such bounding pulses. Though the 
person who thus gazed might have seemed to 
the dancers, in contrast to themselves, old, yet 
he was not really so. An immobility they could 
suppose weakness ; hands which rested upon a 
cane before him, whose top was gold; and 
something of fatigue and wisdom in the kind 
and questioning face, would naturally explain 
such an opinion. But though with much ex- 


perience of men, and a sensibility too tender for 
the ruder forms of intercourse, a good heart 
and a youthful imagination fought successfully 
against any blight from the advancing years. 
He was little past manhood's prime ; but there 
was that vagueness as to life's years which 
this conflict of a soul kept young with the body's 
decay might naturally show. 

As this figure quietly and contemplatively 
watched the ring of dancers, there was a little 
movement among them which made him smile. 
Much smothered feeling, brought to the surface 
by the fervent intricacies of the dance, arrested 
his attention. The forms of courtesy needful 
for the business in hand were likely to be broken 
up by something quite foreign to the orderly 
harmony of the music. The story of the village, 
indeed of more than one in what concerned 
these young people, the silent figure read off at 
a glance. What to him before had been only a 
misty dream of his own youth, the vague pleas- 
ure coming from the double satisfactions of 
music and grace, was suddenly informed with 
that interest in human nature which was the 
passion of his life. 

The dancers had left their lines and formed a 
group, the men within, the women without, 


and from all came cries shriller or more deep 
according to the sex of the person who spoke, 
nor was there wanting a ripple of laughter which 
interested but perplexed the stationary figure. 

"It is too bad, Roesel, you ought to be 
ashamed of yourself. See Christian and Maxel 
how much better manners they have than you, 
with your great barn, which looks like a church, 
and your good father, who, if he were here, 
would say as I do." 

The speaker was a bright-eyed, merry, little 
damsel, who looked afraid of nothing or any- 
body, and, as she saucily looked up with her 
arms akimbo, seemed like one of those little 
birds who will snatch the grain before the very 
face of the farmer. There was crimson in her 
dress, and her gold ornaments, brighter than 
were those of the rest, shared her excitement and 
trembled as she spoke. The young man she 
addressed looked sullen, but impenitent. He was 
a sturdy fellow, thick-set throughout, but not 
wanting in the beauty of strength : a flatness in 
his face, a mouth of uncertain expression, and 
gray eyes which wandered about with a mixed 
air of anger and shame, betrayed an intelligence 
not of the first order. Though his dress was 
rich, it had not the permitted coquetry of his 


opponent ; for he seemed such, and whom the 
girls had referred to as Maxel. His expression 
was lofty and defiant as of one not accustomed 
to brook opposition. Slowly, as if expressing a 
long-nourished resolution, Roesel turned to 
Hulda and said, 

' I have stood it long enough, and won't do so 
any more : you all care for that conceited cox- 
comb, and for him I am slighted. I am as good 
as he is any day, and could buy him out, stock 
and lock, bag and baggage." 

A smile lighted up the faces of the girls as 
they heard this statement of humiliation and pride 
which passion had brought into juxtaposition. 

" Oh, we know you are ever so rich ! ' they 
cried ; " but you see we are not mercenary." 

This taunt so exasperated him that, turning 
fiercely upon Maxel, he made a rush to strike 

" Let me go : we must have it out sometime, 
and the sooner the better." 

" To show us what a strong fellow you are," 
with a toss of her head, "that we weak women 
may at last be subjugated," said Miss Minchen, 
a tall and bony girl, who looked easily as if she 
could have taken up and sustained the quarrel 


As he stood fronting his angry rival, calm and 
a look of pity mingled with defiance upon his 
handsome face, Maxel was a striking figure. 
He evidently was a well-to-do farmer's son, per- 
haps not the equal of Roesel in worldly goods, 
but with that air of confidence and success only 
too provoking to the other, feeling his lack of 
these, a true German cog de village. 

" You have spoiled our dance ; } T OU have in- 
sulted me : but I forgive both, for I know your 
admiration for Rika ; and, as I share it myself, 
I have too much of a fellow-feeling to be an- 
gry. See that old man who is watching us ; 
he has stopped upon his evening walk ; and I can 
read upon his good-humored face the disappro- 
bation he feels. Pick up your hat, and beg his 

So referred to, the personage removed his 
hands from his cane and gently drew nearer. 

" My dear young people," he said, " I have 
ventured to pause to witness your sports : youth 
and beauty have always attractions for the old, 
little as you may care for us fellows who no 
longer dance. You have made me very happy 
with your enjoyment ; but I am pained to see 
that the serpent can enter even such an Eden as 
this. But where there is love and strong feeling, 
there will be jealousy. 


"It is the most natural thing in the world, 
but beware of it. It poisons good fellowship, 
is mostly unjust, and harms its possessor more 
than it can any other. He who tells you this 
by some has been called a philosopher. I dearly 
love to study human nature ; and, to do so, I 
have long learned to make the countenance of 
man my book. I have shared your joy and your 
gayety more than you may think ; and the pain 
I feel at witnessing the trouble which disturbs 
our friend here, makes me wish that he should 
learn to be his own master, and so suffer from 
that trouble no more." 

As the tender and thoughtful words fell from 
the lips of the stranger, a revulsion of feeling 
was visible in Roesel, and he hung his head in 
shame. Encouraged by this, the stranger lifted 
his head, while the sunshine of benignity illu- 
mined his delicate features ; and, extending tow- 
ards the group his hand, he cried cheerfully, 

" Come now, forgive and forget. Though I 
am only a visitor in your village, I already feel 
myself to be no stranger. You must not feel hurt 
at the counsel of a person older than yourselves, 
who would gladly be of use to you if he could. 
You have beautiful valleys here, crowned with 
branching trees ; and, much as I love it all, I 


love still more my fellow-creatures whom I meet 
wandering there or reposing in the shade. For 
the purpose of study, I have taken a little cottage 
here, which the villagers will readily point out to 
you. I have there many curious things, books, 
pictures, and prints, which I would gladly show 
you if at any time you care to pay me a visit. 
When you come to the village, ask for the house 

With a courteous bow to the group, who re- 
garded him with pleased wonder, Lavater with- 
drew. After a sufficient space was interposed 
between him and the young people who, till 
then, kept a respectful silence, their gayety was 
resumed, but not for long. A painful impression, 
produced by the quarrel, and the diversion of 
their thoughts caused by their unexpected visitor, 
interrupted the charm of the dance ; so, after a 
few friendly words and an embarrassed stare 
from the two rivals, they dispersed, hither and 
thither, to their several homes. 

It was a custom of the villagers of an evening 
to walk beside a little river which ran through 
their valley ; it was shut off from the wind, 
and the maples on either bank would inter- 
rupt the shine of the water with their shadow. 
There were rustic benches placed at intervals 


for the elders, or for the younger people when 
fatigued. The spires of a remote town softened 
by distance and here and there peeps of gigantic 
roofs, pierced by little windows, indicated the 
boundary of this charming promenade. 

Not many days after the foregoing scene, 
with a disturbed mind Maxel, taking his stout 
walking-stick, left his home and sauntered down 
the path by the river, in the hope to forget his 
troubles. He was an excellent fellow, and stood 
well with the farmers of his father's acquaint- 
ance for his amiability, industry, and solid worth. 
Those who had daughters were careful to invite 
him to their little family gatherings, where they 
made him quite at home, encouraging by a 
certain free-masonry of fellowship the hope 
that ere long he might make one of them- 

The daughters felt flattered by his visits : 
his reputation was so good, and his frank and 
handsome features gave such an earnest of a 
good heart. They would demurely veil their 
coquetry in the presence of the parents, or watch 
him with curiosity over the flying circle of the 
spinning-wheel, as he talked of beeves and the 
price of wheat with the old folks. Glances of 
mutual intelligence, unperceived by the drowsy 


elders, would telegraph sentiments which set 
both hearts a fluttering. As chance offered, 
a sly word spoken too low to go farther, would 
give them to understand at what coming fete or 
village gathering they might have the happiness 
of a future meeting. 

But all this kindness but the more embar- 
rassed the young man, for it played upon a 
deficiency in his character, which was only 
made the worse for it. Feeling with his youth's 
expansion the sweet tyranny of love, it made 
itself of such a volatile and winged nature that 
like a butterfly, it flew from flower to flower 
without the power of fixing itself. His affec- 
tion wanted concentration. Instead of burning 
incense before one idol, his heart was like a prai- 
rie on flame, which nothing could limit. He felt 
his deficiency and deplored it. But the acceptance 
he found in the eyes of all the maidens kept 
him in a fever of indecision and longing. He 
would call up before him the image of the dark 
mirrors in the eyes of Hulda, which reflected 
the world so soberly ; and the gleam which fell 
upon the polish of her raven hair, like the light 
on a cascade which curves to its descent ; her 
majestic motions ; and her slow, rich voice : but 
to find these in an instant displaced by the sun- 


shine which ever hovered round the dimpled and 
laughing face of the blonde Elsie. 

So one image chased and took the place of an- 
other, as if his poor heart were the slide of a 
magic lantern. And as he showed what he felt, 
and was frankness itself, he was enveloped in a 
tangle of preferences, by which his will was 
fettered like a giant with cords. This vague- 
ness went on increasing, and he was distracted 
by it. For the sake of honor, for the sake of his 
own peace, he was determined to snap his chains, 
and recover again the free liberty of his choice. 
If he only knew, then, where to choose : that was 
the difficulty. L } emb arras des richesses by no 
one was ever more keenly felt. He was the 
image of Cupid pelted by roses, and each fair 
hand which threw one he knew was ready to 
capitulate. Driving rudderless before the warm 
breath of love, he must find a pilot who could 
hold the helm, and steer as he could not. 

Suddenly, like an inspiration, he thought of the 
stranger who, two days before, had given him 
and the others such fatherly advice. "If I 
should mention to any of my neighbors here my 
difficulty, I should be laughed at for my pains : 
the story would be certain to spread, and all 
the gossips would know of it. This man has no 


part or lot in our life ; and when he disappears, 
as he soon will, all traces of our intercourse will 
disappear with him. Besides, and above all, 
he is a kind and wise man ; while all his equals 
in age here are but dull boors. I will ask him, 
as a favor, to take a look, a good one, at all the 
girls, and get him to tell me the one he most 
approves of. If in the decision we don't too 
much disagree, his opinion will be the decisive 
weight in the scale, and I shall feel a confidence 
in my choice which I could not without him. 
Bravo ! I feel already my head and my heart 
lighter, and a better man for this." 

So thinking, and whirling his stout staff in 
the air, he set off at a round pace on his walk by 
the bank of the Horsel. He had not got very far 
before he came to a group of his fern ale friends, 
in the main, those he had danced with so lately : 
some reclining on the flowery bank ; some on 
the stone seat; while others, standing, looked 
down and chattered with them. A burst of 
girlish laughter broke from them, as he drew 

" Poor Maxel, Cupid's knight-errant on a 
wanderjahr of love. He never will be quite 
right till he gets some fish-skin to settle his affec- 
tions ! " 


Though he heard not the latter words, the 
laughter did not escape him ; and he felt, as we 
all should, that it was of him they were think- 
ing and making fun : so he resolutely strode by, 
between them and the river, pretending that he 
had not seen them, though his hurry betrayed 
that he had. u Why in such hot haste, most 
adorable of young farmers ? Can't you see that 
here is something better worth your while than 
any companion you are likely to meet ? ' cried 
the blooming and saucy Tina. 

Thus addressed, and forced to turn round, 
Maxel made a sweeping salutation to the party, 
and offered to proceed on his promenade. See- 
ing this, Rieka came running up with a flower 
in her hand, at the same time whispering, 
" Don't mind their nonsense, Maxel, " and, plac- 
ing the flower in his button-hole, she added, 
" Let this comfort you, and don't forget your 
truest friend. ' 

He then sauntered along, cutting down the taller 
weeds with his swinging stick as he went musing 
of many things. His joy in his decision to con- 
sult the stranger soon brought back his former 
spirits, and his elated face bore no traces of his re- 
cent disquietude. He held on, happier and more 
serene at every moment, till suddenly he noticed 


how low the sun was, its rays capping with a 
golden brown the summit of the Horselberg. He 
was preparing to return, when suddenly a figure 
confronted him. It was Roesel, who, brooding 
over his wrongs, the taunts of the fair witnesses of 
his petulance, and the calm demeanor of his rival, 
was roused to anger by the remembrance. Now 
seeing on the breast of the man he envied 
the flower he had lately noticed on Rieka's 
bosom, rage and fury took possession of him. 
" Is it to protect yourself or your sweetheart's 
favor that you take care to bring such a big 
stick with you ? You will need something bet- 
ter than that if you hope to escape what you 
have so fairly earned. Look out for yourself ! ' 
Maxel stood, the picture of amazement, for 
his present cheerful mood had displaced the 
memory of the quarrel his opponent remembered 
so well. Throwing his stick far behind him, 
with a quiet smile Maxel said, " What do you 
want ? ' Instead of answering, Roesel, leaping 
forward, threw his arms round Maxel's body. 
Both were good wrestlers, and most likely before 
this at some village fete had tested each other's 
prowess. Roesel was the stronger, but Maxel 
more lithe and active. He was taller too, and 
wound round the body of the other as the 


slender snake winds round the clumsy creature 
it dares to attack. The two rivals struggled 
manfully and well ; but at last, unconscious that 
inch by inch they were nearing the river, with a 
great effort and a sudden trip Maxel overthrew 
the bulky weight of his rival. The latter 
glanced on the slippery sward and tumbled into 
the river. He was in no danger ; for though a 
little stunned by the fall, and upset by his unex- 
pected bath, Maxel waded in after him, and 
drew him quickly to land. Slowly dragging 
himself under the weight of his hindering 
clothes up the bank, Roesel fired, as a retreat- 
ing shot, one or two solid German oaths, and 
ran away as fast as his unfortunate condition 
permitted. Then Maxel, after picking up his 
stick, gaily returned to the village. To his 
surprise, the company of young girls was where 
he left them. When they saw Maxel pass, they 
knew that Roesel had preceded him, and they 
feared an encounter. Noticing the wet feet and 
stockings of Maxel, they supposed something 
singular must have occurred. 


" Have you been fishing? We thought it was 
a walking-stick and not a fishing-rod we saw in 
your hand." 

With a laugh, our hero answered, 


"I did catch a pretty big fish, and nearly 
landed him, but he broke away." 

The weather continuing fine, Maxel hoped 
that his counsellor in anticipation, the kind 
Lavater, might feel its influence, as he did, to 
take long walks through the delightful scenery 
about Eisenach. The habitation of the sage he 
knew was 011 the side where the sweet valley 
of Ermenthal extends itself. For several days, 
though crossing at all points the most inviting 
paths, he had no success ; but at last, near a 
little pond at the valley's farther end, he found 
Lavater ruminating like a stork beside the 
water. He joined him unperceived, and stood 
and watched him. He saw him stooping for- 
ward, and, after extending his cane, draw some- 
thing to land, which he carefully secured ; and, 
after wrapping in a bit of brown paper, placed 
in his pocket. Then he saw Maxel. 

" Ah ! my young friend ! where did you drop 
from, and what brings you here ? If you have 
come to fish, as I hear you are fond of doing, 
this little pond has no such big ones as the great 
fellow you so lately caught. I come to the vil- 
lage sometimes, and the other day, when I was 
there to order a supply for my larder, I found 
the tradesmen laughing over your story ; but, 


however, I am glad to meet you again, and you 
can tell me more of it if you like. You found 
me here, not watching the water-flies, as you 
might perhaps suppose, but trying to get some 
of the larvae of certain insects from between the 
water reeds as you saw me do. Have you ever 
seen your own famous castle, the Wartburg, 
where your Germany was doubly born through 
the new religion and the new language, which 
both proudly own what we call the immortal 
Luther for their father? But the view from 
the castle is fine : suppose we extend our walk 
thither and see it. You can tell me your story 
by the wa}^" 

Glad to have the ice broken so easily, and an in- t 
troduction prepared for a smooth descent to that 
confession of his helpless situation and need of 
a counsellor, he willingly assented. Before they 
had reached the castle, Maxel's storv was not 


only begun but finished. The anger with which 
he remembered the impertinence of Roesel was 
a good driving power to push them both past 
the guarded wicket within which a young man 
keeps the secrets of his heart. When once he 
had passed that little barrier, he made his new 
friend easily at home there, and free of his 
choicest preserves. His disclosures were much 


facilitated by the glee with which his companion 
found himself on his favorite ground. He pro- 
duced from his capacious coat pocket a stout 
snuff-box, and sent titillations of content through 
all his nerves b}^ an abundant pinch of its con- 
tents. Replacing the box, he rubbed his hands 
together playfully, exclaiming, 

" And so you want the help of my experience. 
You give me no difficult task when desiring me 
to read off the simple language of those ingenu- 
ous young faces. No hard task that : it is only 
a hornbook containing words of one syllable. 
Easy lessons for children." 

" I 'm glad you think so, and the luckier for 
me. I look upon woman as an enigma ; and a 
girl of eighteen is no longer a child." 

" Well ! well ! ' laughed the philosopher. 
" You bring them to me and I will show you. 
I have given you all already an invitation to 
visit my cottage. Make that the excuse, and 
come with your party any day next week. I 
shall always be at home in the afternoon." 

As they rapidly walked on, their heads down- 
ward bent with this interesting conference, they 
did not notice a clear bright face which watched 
them, half hidden in the shadow of a majestic 
beech, nor did they notice the figure's return to 


a bench, where it had left a work-basket, and 
then its sudden disappearance. 

" Now, my young friend, that we have ar- 
ranged our little plot, let us bury it in our mem- 
ory, and, for the present, try to forget all about 
it. Keep all your wits about you while we are 
at this famous castle, for there are strange and 
beautiful things to see." 

They silently made the ascent to it, and soon 
Maxel's attention was wholly preoccupied with 
the objects of interest within the walls. As they 
strolled from room to room, Lavater explained 
every thing. Maxel, all attention, listened 
while his new friend pointed out the curious 
suits of armor, and their historical differences, 
giving him a rapid sketch of the strange life 
that was led in Germany when a man could en- 
counter on the highway one of these steel-clad 
figures, and the horse under him equally encum- 
bered with metal. 

" Just as you now see one of our mechanics 
equipped for his wandering, with knapsack and 
boots depending over his shoulder from his 
weapon of defence, so then you might have en- 
countered one of these astonishing fellows. You 


might have thought him an ironmonger, obliged 
to travel with his wares for sale. A happy 


escape we have made out of that into our com- 
fortable doublet and hose ! ' 

After examining the strange pictures of wild 
beasts on the walls of a large hall which de- 
lighted Lavater, and flattered a favorite belief 
of his proving that power and wealth combined 
do not always confer good taste, they went as 
all visitors do into the famous room of Luther. 
Maxel felt the deepest awe on entering it, which 
the vivacity of his companion soon dispelled. 

" My lad," said Lavater, with a chuckle, " when 
our great Protestant threw his inkstand at the 
devil do you think he was posing for posterity, 
or that he believed the archfiend anticipated 
the harm which might come to him out of 
that terrible inkstand ? It passes as a story of 
hallucination commonly. But, critical as was 
his position, the sound brain of the reformer 
could hardly have been disturbed so much. 
His wildness, after all, may have been of that 
sound sort which made one even greater than 
he reply to such an accusation in the words, 
' I am not mad, most noble Festus.' As a 
myth, it is capital, the notion of a battle be- 
tween the prince, of darkness and the printed 
page, that fountain of light. Sound teaching 
must be what the devil hates most. But do you 


suppose the black skin of the fiend would show 
any ink stains ? he may have laughed superior, 
after all, and bethought him of the small chance 
man has with even the best instruction to escape 

He turned as he spoke to see how well Maxel 
had followed his disquisition. To his surprise, 
he found himself unheeded ; for the young man 
was busily intent upon the exquisite view before 
him. He had never seen his dwelling-place so 
ennobled. His sight swept, as down a groove of 
beauty, the whole length of the valley of Ermeii- 
thal and lost itself in those films of distance where 
earth and heaven meet. Half unconsciously, his 
eyes sought his own farm-house, the village, and 
finally rested upon a shining point which his 
heart told him must be the home of Rieka. 
Absorbed in his reverie, he forgot the presence 
of his companion, and heeded not the devil and all 
his works. As his dream deepened and his ob- 
servation returned from its long flight, he per- 
suaded himself that, among a scarcely visible 
group of figures in the valley beneath him, he 
distinguished the form of Rieka herself. He 
turned suddenly as he heard the voice of his 

" I excuse your neglect of so poor a philoso- 


plier as myself when I see you are occupied with 
one of the most glorious views in Germany. 
But it is time for us to return, or my house- 
keeper will be anxious." 

They left the castle, and found themselves 
once more in the modern world. 

" Human nature is always the same, though it 
dress itself as you have seen in armor, and can 
even once in a while throw an inkstand at the 
devil. It is an instrument many-keyed, of 
many stops, but it is always the same instru- 
ment : learn to play on it, and you can manage 
the world." 

This encouragement to so lofty an achieve- 
ment fell coldly on Maxel's ears, as he felt that 
the little skill he had was inadequate to distin- 
guish the different merits of his fair acquaintances. 
I have no ear for that music, ' ' he thought ; 
but perhaps the Herr professor will give me a 
lesson or two." 

Not much more conversation passed between 
them ere they reached the point where the path 
which led to the cottage of Lavater branched 
from the one they were on. Still, once the phil- 
osopher, who loved nature because it was the 
home of man, pointed out to Maxel a rich bank 
of waving ferns through which threads of water 

^j ^j 

were winding. 


u ' 


" See what hints nature gives us, " said he ; " this 
is how a fernery should be built, in the cooling 
shade, upon a broken slope, where rocks are in- 
terspersed and where little streams can nourish 
the fern's roots and then pass away." 

After a cordial farewell, Maxel returned to 
his home a wiser and much soberer man. Being 
left to him wholly to arrange, Maxel was not a 
little perplexed with his plot to visit Lavater 
with a select party of female friends, but fortune 
favored him ; for, the very day after his visit to 
the castle, he chanced to meet some of those he 
proposed taking there, and among them Rieka 
herself. In the most natural manner she ex- 

" Friend Maxel, have you forgotten the kind 
offer of Herr Lavater to visit him and examine 
his wonderful things ? I am dying to go, and 
so, I dare say, are Tina and Elsie." 

Taken by surprise, but pleased beyond ex- 
pression, with a blush Maxel stammered, " I am 
quite at your service to go there any day in the 
coming week you may prefer." 

" Well, then," said Tina, joyfully, clapping her 
hands, " let it be Wednesday at four in the after- 
noon, for then you will have got through your 

day's work, and so shall L" 



After a little calculation of convenient times 
and seasons, they finally settled upon Tina's 

" Let us agree to meet a little before that 
hour in the valley, where the path which I have 
so often seen him take leads from it to his 

The others who had been at the dance were 
duly notified, and several accepted. It was even 
proposed to add to their number, and assented 
to by Maxel in the best possible spirit, young 
Roesel ; but, on seeking for him, they found he 
had taken advantage of a business engagement 
in a neighboring town to disappear. Tina was 
vexed, for she had hoped during their excursion 
to smooth the bristles of her lover by soft words, 
and dissipate his gloom. She knew that from 
the embers of one dead affection the Phoenix of 
a new love will often spring. 

The young people all met, as they had agreed 
to, on Wednesday at four o'clock P.M. in the 
lovely valley of Ermenthal, and made their way 
without much delay to the cottage of Lavater. 
Maxel boldly led his little troop ; and, though 
the timid hung back, they were soon within the 
house. Maxel knocked at the door of the room 
which the housekeeper had indicated, and, not- 


withstanding there was no response, slowly 
opened it. Looking in, he at once saw by his 
inattention and his costume that the philosopher 
was as }^et unaware of their coming. His figure, 
clothed in a long dressing-gown which betrayed 
much service, was bent over a ponderous folio 
in which he was apparently absorbed. His back 
was turned to the party, and his face partly hid- 
den by a white night-cap, a tassel of which de- 
pended behind. He was not long left to his 
contemplation and study. The girls, to get a 
peep, crowded behind Maxel, and soon a stifled 
giggle and smothered whispers betrayed their 
presence. Pushing back his chair, and wheel- 
ing suddenly round, Lavater, with outstretched 
hand, cordially welcomed them, removing at the 
same time from his mouth a well-used pipe, 
which he carefully placed beside the book he 
had been reading. 

u Ha! ha!' he cried. "I rejoice that you 
have not forgotten the old man's invitation. 
Come in and rest yourselves for a while, and 
then, when you are more composed, I will show 
you some things worthy your attention. But 
why have you not brought the young man I 
saw with you at the dance ? He ought to know, 
though perhaps then he was a little impatient, 


that I should be most glad to see him. Make 
yourselves at home, and don't be afraid of my 
somewhat rickety chairs and sofa." 

Thus encouraged, some sat, while others 
lounged about the room hither and thither, as 
the various objects attracted them. In the mean 
while, the philosopher, having resumed his pipe at 
the suggestion of Rieka, crossed his legs and smil- 
ingly watched them through the ascending smoke. 

Rieka had paused in front of a beautiful im- 
pression, before the letter, a present from a royal 
personage, of the solemn etching of Melancholia 
by Albert Durer. After a close examination of 
it, Rieka turned and said, 

" Herr Lavater, I cannot make it out. I see 
the figure of a seated woman buried in sorrow ; 
but what meaning these various things about 
her have I cannot discover." 

" Ha ! ha ! ' he merrily replied, " do you think 
to get at the bottom of a German's brain by a 
glance only? The picture is not for you: 
you are too young and too happy to have much 
sympathy with the sad feelings it expresses. 
If you had known sorrow yourself, according 
to your temperament or mood, your imagination 
would find for you the explanation of these mys- 
terious emblems. Look rather at that ring of 


dancing children by Albano : there you will 
find not only what you can understand, and 
what all women should love, but its simple mean- 
ing and grace will repose your puzzled spirit." 

" Does Herr Lavater suppose, " she replied in 
the softest tones, " that I have not depth of 
feeling enough to value the sublime mournful- 
ness of the other print ; that I cannot perceive 
that it is the soul's disappointment with the pal- 
try trinkets of earth, and its unsatisfied longing 
which is a prediction of the heaven which shall 
be its home ? ' 

And crossing her hands before her, with 
bowed head, her features expressed an elevated 
grief, mingled with a disappointment that this 
wise man had so little comprehended her. Seeing 
this, with a lively gesture Lavater again placed his 
pipe upon the table, and came and stood beside 
her. Tenderly taking her hand, while, with a 
blush she turned aside her head as if from a look 
of reproval, 

" I have wounded you in what we value most, 
the reach and scope of our spiritual instincts ; 
but I did not at all mean that. I only intended 
to say that you are too young to divine grief, and 
that the fancy of a German artist is a cavern in 
which strange and winged creatures are but half 
seen in the darkness." 


Hearing a crash, they both paused, and, turning 
round, saw that the too bustling Tina, as she 
danced about the room, at times calling to one 
of her companions to share in her admiration, as 
some pretty thing struck her, by a careless 
turn, had overset a little stand of flowers placed 
between the windows : a small pot or two was 
broken and the water ran upon the floor. Maxel 
bit his lip with vexation, for the visit was his 
project, and he thought himself responsible for 
the consequences. One or two of the girls 
scolded Tina, while some on the sofa laughed a 
little maliciously at her confusion and the embar- 
rassment of their host. But, after a severe look 
at the mortified girl, Rieka, stooping, replaced 
in the framework the earth and. broken bits 
of pottery, and then recovering herself said, 

" The Herr Doctor I am sure will pardon you ; 
for his heart is good, and he knows you did not 
intend it." 

To withdraw their attention from this disa- 
greeable incident, Lavater called around him 
the whole party to examine a collection of draw- 
ings on Physiognomy that had been made for 
him by the best artists of the time. As he 
successively held them up, he gave a little lec- 
ture upon expression, and explained the natural 


language of the passions as they show them- 
selves in life : pride, anger, modesty, fear, and 
faith, were emphasized so powerfully in these 
drawings that every one could understand them. 

" Oh, what a villanous look this handsome face 
has ! ' cried Loisel : " I should be afraid to meet 
him in the dark." 

" That, " said their host, " is the face of treach- 
ery : a malignant purpose is concealed behind 
those handsome features; it attracts you while 
it repels." 

" So it does, " said Gretel ; " but look here, here 
is a face which somehow reminds me of Roesel." 

Taking it up with a smile of pity, and looking 
at it, Lavater said, 

" So it does, a little. Poor fellow ! This head 
is Jealousy." 

A smothered titter ran round the circle ; 
while Tina, tossing her head, said, 

" Herr Professor, he is not here to be seen ; 
but, if you should meet him now, you would not 
see any more that look on his face." 

And, passing on, Lavater showed them his cabi- 
net of medals, commenting upon the good or bad 
qualities of the high personages whose portraits 
they bore. Afterwards, he cursorily displayed a 
little collection he had made of insects and birds. 


But while, to amuse them, he was giving their ter- 
rible Latin names, by chance turning aside, he was 
struck by the attitude and expression of Rieka. 
She had moved on, as careless of this little insect 
world, and was standing, wrapped in respectful 
interest, before an oblong frame which hung upon 
the wall, and held the rules for right living, which 
Lavater for his own guidance had written out. 

Be and appear what you are. 

Let nothing be great or little in your 

Simplify always things in indiffer- 
ent actions, especially in the midst 
of the agitations and torments of 
fear and grief. 

In the present moment, confine your- 
self, if you can, to that which is 
nearest your life. 

Recognize God in all things ; in the 
vast system of stars as in the 
grains of sand. 

Give to each one what is his due. 

Yield your heart to him who gov- 
erns all hearts. 

Hope and carry forward your exist- 
ence into the future 

Learn how to wait. 

Know how to find enjoyment in 
every thing, and how to dispense 
with every thing. 


" And now, my young friends, I leave you for 
a moment to speak to my house-keeper : you can 
use my absence by examining and thinking over 
these rules of conduct. Young and careless 
as you are, you are not too young to have a pur- 
pose in life, and to guide yourselves by the best 
rules. Such a rule is a rudder, and will shape 
your course, so as to escape the rocks and quick- 
sands. I shall be glad to think that any thing 
of mine may have served to render your lives 
safe and holy." 

When he had disappeared, some of the 
younger girls, more curious than the rest, specu- 
lated as to why he had left them. 

" Don't you see, " said Elsie, " he dislikes to 
have his floor dirty and wet, and he has gone to 
have things put to rights. You will soon see his 
portly house-keeper enter, with a frown on her 
face, and a majestic broom in her hand." 

But the fair critic was wrong. Lavater well 
knew that looking at pictures, and even con- 
versation, was exhausting ; and, after their early 
dinner, he desired they should leave him with a 
favorable impression. He also wished to study 
their characters a little more closely. He there- 
fore had desired his house-keeper to set out a 
slight collation in a spacious arbor in the garden. 

8* L 


It consisted only of cold meats, a famous potato 
salad, and a few fruits which owed their merit to 
the fact that they came from the trees in the 
garden. Returning, he said, with a smile, 

" Now, good people, you have taxed your brains 
quite enough ; and it will refresh you to take a 
turn in the open air in my unpretentious garden." 
The proposal was most welcome : age and youth 
had been quite long enough together ; there is 
always with both 'a certain sense of constraint 
when they are strangers to each other. And a 
young girl, like a bird, is happiest in the open 
air. So when he had opened the glass door, they 
danced down the steps with an explosion of 
merriment. Lavater was in haste to follow 
them bareheaded ; but Rieka ran to the corner 
of the room where she saw his hat and cane 
were placed, and hurrying with them said, as, 
with a courtesy, she placed them in his hand, 

" The afternoon is late, and I suppose that it 
would be hardly safe for you to venture into 
the open air without these, especially after the 
fatigue we have caused you." 

Thus protected, the good man chirruped and 
waved in air his cane as he saw the innocent joy 
of his visitors. Their tone was quite different 
from that in which they spoke with him. They 


chased the butterflies, felt of the scanty fruit 
which depended within their reach, raced and 
even waltzed with each other down the gravelled 
walks. Tina even ventured, after upturning a 
roguish eye of inquiry, which was met by a be- 
nevolent nod of approval, to gather a splendid 
chrysanthemum, which she paraded proudly. 

" And now, my young friends, I have prepared 
for you, in yonder arbor, a little gofiter, so tri- 
fling that I dare not incur any increase of appetite 
on your part by farther exercise. Come and try 

A cry of pleasure answered this invitation. 

Seated in the most patriarchal manner, in the 
centre of the well-filled table, with a volley of 
grateful eyes directed at him from every side, 
he dispensed in succession, slices of ham, cubes 
of cheese, and a mysterious but ample dish, 
the contents of which are, to this annalist, wholly 
unknown ; till, finally, the banquet was crowned 
with a savory salad. Though the long glasses 
were filled with the foaming bock beer, scarcely 
in any case except Maxel's were they emptied. 
The physiognomist had encouraged their gay- 
ety, trusting that each damsel would thus show 
her natural character. He was careful, without 
being noticed, to observe each expression of self- 


ishness or rude conduct in any. Some would 
eat with deliberation, with elbows well down, 
while others would push about their food, cutting 
and eating it at random. The tall Minnchen 
eat with an austere propriety ; and, though she 
emptied her glass, she did not spill any as did some 
of the others. Rieka, who by chance sat next to 
her host, urged him pleasantly not to forget his 
own creature comforts, and did at last prevail over 
his abstemiousness to share a little in the salad. 

As the shades of evening began to fall soon 
after this, with many thanks for his kindness 
and gracious hospitality each in turn said Guten 
Nacht, and then they all took their leave. 

For a long time Lavater, resting his elbow on 
the window-sill, his cheek in his hand, watched 
the waving line of their retreat, hearing ever 
fainter and fainter the murmur of their voices 
and the dying music of their laughter. Soon 
all was silent. Still he did not change his posi- 
tion : a shade of pensiveness stole over his deli- 
cate features, which deepened, till presently the 
moon rose above the rounded trees, and flooded 
all the porch steps, and his own countenance 
with a burnish of golden light. Then, if one had 
looked, one might have observed in his eyes, as 
he followed the moon in its course, a gaze of 


rapt and intimate devotion : the philosopher 
looked now a saint. 

The fine weather still continued. Lavater 
was seated, as the young people had found him 
the day before, at his table, carefully examin- 
ing proofs which had been sent him for his great 
work on physiognomy. He compared them 
with the drawings which Fuseli and other em- 
inent artists had sent him for his work. The 
engravings were beautifully done, and a smile 
of satisfaction showed that he appreciated the 
care of the engraver. Yet, every now and then, 
a twitch of impatience betrayed a discovery that 
minutiae which had escaped the engraver's eye 
caught his own. These trifling defects seemed 
to him prodigious ; for he saw in all the straight 
lines, angles, and curves of the human face that 
language of physiognomy which the engraver 
misunderstood. As he said to his friend, Zim- 
mermann, when his theory first dawned on him, 
" It is by the lines of that person's neck that 
I divine his character ; ' so still every feature 
was charged with an expression for him which 
even his disciples could not always understand. 
And, looking back on his labors from our higher 
stand-point of physiological knowledge, we can 
guess in what way Lavater was deceived. 


Lavater was not only a deeply religious man, 
with a turn to mysticism, but he was a sensitive 
in the modern acceptation of the term : his ner- 
vous structure was so delicate that every one's 
personality impressed him merely by its pres- 
ence. There is abundant experience by others 
of this character-reading, through sympathetic 
sensibility : his own countryman, Zschokke, had 
it even in a greater degree than Lavater. To 
him, the experience of it was by no means 
always agreeable : he would be saturated at 
times, as it were, with the overflow of a life 
repugnant to him. Seeing a person for the first 
time, he could narrate to him the incidents of his 
previous life, and somewhat predict his future. 
In our own town, more than one lady has been able 
by holding a letter, ignorant both of its contents 
and the writer's name, to draw accurately his 
mental portrait. It is, therefore, reasonable to 
suppose that Lavater intuitively felt the char- 
acter of the person he was studying ; and, in his 
ignorance of this power, very naturally attrib- 
uted to the rules of physiognomy what his in- 
tuitions had taught him. He was certainly right 
in believing that the face is moulded by the 
good or evil within. More or less to every 
observer the countenance tells a true tale, when 


not used, as by an actor, for some calculated 

But to assert that such a line of the nostril ; 
such curves in the chin, ear, or neck, abso- 
lutely define a character, is to make the same 
mistake that I once witnessed in England. 
A lady who enjoyed the friendship of a sen- 
sitive, whose reading of the character she found 
true, had endeavored, by comparison of the 
letters of the writing of different persons, to dis- 
cover the law of these various handwritings. 
She thought each letter written by different 
murderers, for instance, should in something 
correspond. I told her there could be no law 
for such an agreement ; but that her friend read 
people, not by their handwriting, but by the 
relation which that handwriting established 
between them and herself. If the laws of 
physiognomy which Lavater believed in had 
since then proved themselves true, the world 
would have accepted his theory, and it would 
be generally believed in. But there are no dis- 
ciples of Lavater now, in the sense that he would 
have wished. Physiognomy remains only in its 
natural state, unlimited by such laws as he pre- 
scribed. It helps the phrenologist, and we all 
unconsciously interpret what it says ; but few, 


if any, study now the human face in the manner 
of Lavater. 

While our philosopher was losing himself in 
the study of his favorite science, a sudden rap on 
the door recalled him to common life ; and, as 
he cried " Come in, ' immediately the friendly 
and expectant face of Maxel presented itself. 

" Now seat yourself opposite me ; and, though 
I am very busy, I can give you all the time 
you ask for the important matter about which 
you consulted me. You desire, do you not, 
that I should give you my opinion, as a physiog- 
nomist, as to Avhich of the young women who 
were here the other day would make you the 
best wife. I do not say that any of them might 
entirely disappoint you. Some have candor 
and sweetness ; and in others I think I read a 
covert expression of selfishness and pride. But, 
there is one with whom I have no fault to find : 
her nature is deep and genuine, her spirit 'ele- 
vated, and her kindness shows itself in every 
act ; and, though not wanting in high intelli- 
gence, she has that docility which comes from 
an even temper, and the pleasure of doing what 
her heart dictates. Your own heart, I am sure, 
anticipates her name when I tell you it is the 
one I was told to call Bieka." 


Delighted to have from another the authority 
of a decision which he could not make for him- 
self, with a beaming face, and slightly waving 
his hand, Maxel exclaimed, 

" Many thanks, Herr Professor, for your good- 
ness- in giving me the benefit of your wisdom. I 
quite agree with you that Rieka is the most 
charming of women. I think I always believed 
so, but I am not quite sure. I will ask for her 
hand at once. And, as I have delayed too long 
already, if she consents, the marriage shall come 
off as soon as possible. I must not intrude 
farther upon your studies. But do not fail to 
come and see the realization of your prediction. 
The sight of a scene of connubial harmony will 
be all the more pleasant to you, that its existence 
.will be owing to the perspicacity of your judg- 
ment and your willingness to oblige. Good-by. 
You know where my farm is, and where we shall 
be found." 

The door closed, and with it for Lavater oc- 
curred an instant oblivion of all matters which 
did not concern his immediate labors. Bent 
over his table, he inspected again and again his 
engravings, comparing them with the drawings 
of the artists and the models he had in his own 
mind. Time flew by, and it was not till his 


sturdy housekeeper came to rouse him from his 
abstraction that he was made to remember that 
the time of lunch had arrived, or rather had 
been allowed to pass by,_by his housekeeper, 
who knew how to add, for the time his visitor 
had consumed, an equivalent portion ; and the 
philosopher, after losing himself in a devotional 
ecstasy for a moment in silent prayer, with lit- 
tle sense of the pains taken for his repast, con- 
tinued to see the features of human aspiration, 
malignity, and error dance before the dishes 
whose presence he so little heeded. 

And his reverie was not dissipated, but rather 
increased, by returning from the meal to his stud- 
ies. It held him with the tenacity of a passion ; 
and, as there was nothing to break in upon his 
musing, for the walks about his garden which 
nature dictated could hardly be called interrup- 
tions, Lavater continued writing daily much and 
thinking more, till that relief and reaction- the 
brain demands, at last suddenly gave him a 
sense of lassitude and distaste for his continued 
occupation ; and then, suddenly consulting the 
calendar, he started up, saying, " And the pairing 
of my young doves. A whole month has elapsed, 
and I had quite forgotten them." 

Seizing his hat and cane, Lavater sallied forth, 


hoping to find some one who could give him 
news of his young friend. Soon meeting an 
Eisenach acquaintance, he was surprised to hear 
from him that Maxel had been married more 
than a week, and was living with his bride at 
his farm-house. Thither he bent his steps, 
and his gait was so lively that he soon came to 
the limits of the farm. He was pleased with 
that look of opulence in nature's gifts, that 
broad basis of strength, that copartnership with 
earth, which a good farm presents. " Farming," 
he thought, " is the most real of human occupa- 
tions : it lives in and by the forces which are the 
life of the planet ; for the farmer is always sift- 
ing with nicest chemistry each particle of earth. 
The sky, with its rain and sunshine, is his fellow- 
laborer ; and the seasons, like so many hand- 
maidens, each in turn bring him the gifts 
appropriate to the hour. If it has something of 
the dull conflict of mind with matter, this grand 
fellowship with nature endows it with dignity. 
Nor are there wanting in the chances of drought, 
blight, or tempest, enough of the gambler's ex- 
citement to save it from monotony." He saw 
the reapers moving to their work, each with his 
sickle like a young moon. He saw the golden 
fields of wheat, heavy with a richness which the 


breeze scarcely ruffled as it passed. He saw 
from the dove-cot, at the bark of a brindled 
mastiff, the pigeons soar like rockets ; and re- 
turning fall, with a murmur of undisturbed tran- 
quillity, upon the stately barn. And amid the 
clucking of the farm-yard and the cock's clarion, 
odors from the woodbine and the gathering fruit, 
and all the faint perfumes that belong to mother 
earth, flew past . him, and he stood to give his 
senses this unusual satisfaction. "Ah ! this 
indeed is the country, ' he said ; " and how 
serene and peaceful must be the lives which are 
led here ! My young farmer, with his tender 
and diffident bride, must feel that earth has no 
better home for peace than this," 

The farm-house was picturesque. It was made 
from the wreck of a once stately building, prob- 
ably monastic, but so obliged to accommodate 
itself to a farmer's need that there was a pleasing 
incongruity through the Avhole. The windows 
were irregular in look and expression ; for, 
while some had round them an ambitious tracery 
of half-ruined carving, others of a recent date, 
plain but useful, were like a sentence of prose 
inserted into a rustic poem. There were columns 
at the door, with awkward but fantastic capitals ; 
and above, inserted into the wall, was a large 


cross made of stone of a different color. With 
some difficulty Lavater made out figures which 
gave the date 1621. The roof was broken up 
with projections, and a little tower, evidently 
modern ; but upon the broad sweep of the nearer 
end were let in, as if breathing-places, those lit- 
tle pointed recesses which we see so often in the 
older buildings of Germany. Lavater, pleased 
with this subjection of the old religion to serve 
the purposes of modern usefulness, would have 
continued farther his attentive examination of 
the house's front : but suddenly upon his ear 
fell sounds which were a discord Avith all that he 
had beheld and was now enjoying. Even where 
words are not intelligble, the sound of them 
can convey only too much of meaning : the tone 
says often more than words. His heart sank 
within him as he felt that those sounds were 
unfriendly if not hostile. Kindness, reason, 
were not there ; but temper, uncontrolled and 
raging like a sea, was master of the hour. He 
doubted if he should advance, and not rather 
retire homeward unobserved. But, besides that 
he was piqued to know the meaning of it all, he 
had come too far wholly to lose the advantage 
of his visit ; so he timidly raised the ponderous 
knocker, which fell from his hesitating hand 


with a heavy thump. Instantly all was silence ; 
and, the door opening, Maxel appeared. His 
features were so disturbed with pain and morti- 
fication, that Lavater exclaimed, 

" I dare say you are busy, and my visit is in- 
opportune : I will come another time." 

But, not without a look of shame, Maxel took 
him by the arm, and insisted upon his entering 
the house. 

In the little parlor, on entering, they found 
Rieka : the three stood and confronted one 
another ; their faces bore each a different ex- 
pression, informed by the feeling within. For 
some time it was a mute triangular duel, and 
their faces showed it. Each expressed anger in 
a degree except Lavater : with him anger was 
lost in anxiety and surprise. Rieka was flushed, 
her hair and dress in disorder ; and, above her 
hard bright eyes, her brows were bent in 
scornful wrath. With Maxel anger was lost in 
distress and mortification. As Lavater, lean- 
ing on his stick, turned his face inquisitively 
from one to the other, Maxel's countenance 
was drooped in shame, while Rieka gazed un- 
flinchingly, with clenched hands and throbbing 
temples, at the intruder. At last she burst 


" So you have come, Herr Professor, to wit- 
ness the billing and cooing of the turtle-doves 
whom you have paired. Are you not enchanted 
with the result of your meddlesome advice ? 
Who can doubt your wisdom and learning when 
they witness such fine proofs of it ? Is not 
your science of physiognomy above criticism 
when it can produce such charming results as 
you see ? Isn't an old man who has forgotten 
the passions of his youth, he who can best read 
a young girl's heart and best prophesy her lov- 
er's happiness ? Yes, I am not ashamed to say 
that we were quarrelling, and that words which 
love could never speak had passed between us, ' 
and, rising in her passion, she put back with 
her hand her falling hair behind her brow, and 
shaking at him, as she advanced in anger a step 
or two, the forefinger of the other hand, she 
exclaimed, " And you are the cause of it : it 
is all your fault ; you must conspire with this 
simple boy here a plot together. You think, at 
a single intervew, to weigh and judge the char- 
acters of us girls. A little good acting was quite 
enough to take you both in, and the actor's 
triumph was in her skilful deception. Do you 
think I didn't overhear your little plot to bring 
us together, and learn at once from the shapes 


of onr features, the lines of our faces, which one 
was good enough to become the wife of that 
poor baby there ? Do you think it was not easy 
enough to look like a Madonna when standing 
before your silly pictures, and by a few soft 
words and gestures of kindness to take in the 
wisest philosopher of the world ? I hope you are 
pleased with your work. To ruin a young girl's 
life and embitter a young man's, you must count 
a great success of the new philosophy. I won- 
der I had the patience to go through with it all, 
and not tell you what game I was making of 
you, even while winning your undesired appro- 
bation. I dare say Roesel would have made 
me a better husband than ever can this soft and 
docile puppet whom you have given me. Why, 
he has not even the spirit to answer my re- 
proaches : he is as tame and as fond as a snow 
image of a man. Oh ! oh ! I can never care for 


such a nose of wax ; and I am glad that you 
have come that I may tell you so before his 

Out of breath and spent with passion, Rieka 
paused with bewildered face, and then burst 
into tears and sobs. Still angry the more 
she showed these signs of weakness, she dashed 
into her eyes her knuckles of ivory in the effort 


to arrest her weeping. She tossed proudly back 
her head to relieve her cheeks of the entangling 
hair ; but still her tears flowed on, at times broken 
by a choking sob. But nature had had enough 
of violence ; and at last, with bowed head and a 
pitiful look of exhausted temper, with her hands 
at her sides she stood still. 

For a while Lavater remained gazing at her 
with compassion ; and then taking her hand, 
with a look in which authority and an infinite 
tenderness were mingled, he led her to a chair 
and bade her sit down. 

"There, there," he cried, as she obeyed, "it 
does not so much matter as you think. No, 
no, it is not as you think, dear Rieka." 

The reaction of exhausted passion, the shame 
she felt that she had gone so far, acted upon 
her like a spell : she sat irresolute and drooping, 
with tears standing in her eyes. She resembled a 
flower over which a storm had passed, and whose 
bowed head was slowly rising erect upon its 
stem, and a far sunshine, while recalling their 
color to its leaves, glitters yet on the drops 
which betray the convulsion which has passed. 
Lavater drew his chair nearer to hers, and in 
an equable, low tone spoke as one undisturbed 

by all he had witnessed, familiar with every 
9 M 


stop of that human nature whose keys had so 
lately thrilled with anger. 

" My dear child," he said to her, " this is 
not your natural self which you have shown me : 
something has jarred the axis upon which yoiu 
being turns, and it shows it by whirling in dis- 
order. What that something is, it is my duty 
to show you ; for therein is my apology. Yes, 
you are only too right, you are only too right, 
when you said that I was the cause of it all. 
I hope the innocent one, but still the real 
cause of your suffering. Tricks and plots de- 
serve to fail, for they are acting upon another 
party without his consent. It was not my 
fault: it came from the fond heart of your dear 
Maxel, who needs confirmation when besieged 
by difficulties of choice. He has a noble nature, 
which can appreciate yours ; but it is deficient 
in concentration, and the power of selecting for 
itself as do others. You overheard us, and that 
changed your two friends into conspirators. 
Our little intrigue and plot naturally wounded 
your pride, as you have only too vividly just 
shown to us both : but pride is a noble quality ; 
and, when wounded, it speaks indiscreetly, as 
just now you have done. By no means be 
ashamed of it, though its words would have 


been hard to bear for any who had not trust and 
confidence in you. You have felt yourself the 
victim of an experiment; and your maidenly 
dignity did not allow you, I think, to show 
Maxel your nature as without our mistake you 
would have done. Let the poor philosopher, 
who has crossed your life, and brought this 
trouble, remove it if he may by words of ex- 
planation and regret. For your own sake, far 
more than for mine, tell us that this anguish is but 
a passing cloud, and show us that behind it is 
that sunshine without which no household can 
be happy." 

A hundred contending feelings chased them- 
selves across the heaving breast of Rieka, and 
showed themselves in her countenance as they 

The words of Lavater touched as with fire 
the wounds inflicted upon her pride ; but the 
fatherly tenderness with which he spoke, the 
absence of any annoyance which he showed 
for what already brought self-accusing blushes 
to her face, and, more than all, the kindness 
with which he presented her own true picture 
of herself, slowly smoothed the raging seas of 
passion till they subsided, and all was calm. 
Finally, the sunshine of a smile illumined her 


face, her e} r es were like twin lakes which mir- 
rored heaven, and Rieka, the true Rieka, undis- 
torted by arrogance, was there. Leaning for- 
ward, she gently placed her hand upon the 
sleeve of Lavater ; she drew him to his feet 
while rising herself, and then, still leaning on 
his arm, with half-averted face, as they walked 
up and down the room, softly spoke words of 
contrition and self-condemnation. But Lavater 
would not listen to her as she spoke thus. 

" Penitence is well," he said, " but humilia- 
tion befits neither you nor me. Be yourself. 
4 Be and appear what you are,' as you saw writ- 
ten in my rules for right living. That will be 
quite enough to make this worthy man forget 
all that is not you which he has witnessed, and 
send me back to my dear Zurich happy to know 
that my visit here has harmed no one, and may 
add happiness to the lives of two dear friends 
whom I can never forget." 

Suddenly pausing in her walk, with sparkling 
eyes and a face in which a sense of mischief and 
fun usurped the place of the last trace of sullen- 
ness, Rieka caught both hands of Lavater within 
her own, and, tenderly pressing them, with a 
laugh exclaimed, 

So we foolish girls, our spite and our tem- 



per, have but their little hour of triumph, and 
must swiftly melt before that eye which sees so 
much, and that warm heart that I feel sure loves 
every creature our God has made. What can I 
say, my dear father confessor, when you have 
anticipated it all ? It was both my misfortune 
and my fault that I chose to listen while I should 
not. I know now that if any one is to be pun- 
ished it is I ; and bitterly, indeed, and swiftly 
has my fault overtaken me. But now all is 
well, and that bad shadow shall darken our 
house no more. If I dared to praise myself 
where condemnation were fitter, I might with 
some pride tell you, and I hope some day I may 
show you hereafter, that the Rieka you divined 
was in nothing the Rieka you have just seen. 
I love my good Maxel most tenderly, but it 
vexed me to have him think me at once that 
paragon that angel which your too partial 
interpretation of me had made him suppose he 
possessed. It was the love of mischief which 
made me determine to show him traits of char- 
acter surely little angelic, to enjoy his discom- 
fiture, and revenge myself on his plotting. But 
now, dear Herr Lavater, and now, dearest Maxel, 
let us all forgive and forget. I only fear that, 
by the law of contraries, I may cherish and love 


you too well, Maxel, till drowned in honey you 
may desire perhaps a little of the acid I have 
shown you I possess, to temper the too much 

While saying this with a roguish look in 
her eye, she advanced to Maxel and with her 
hand playfully patted his cheek. But Maxel 
caught her in his arms, and showered upon 
her lips, through words of endearment, a thou- 
sand kisses. Then slowly lifting his head and 
glancing over his shoulder he spoke thus to 

" I am not at all abashed to show before you 
proofs of an affection which I so largely owe 
to yourself. Let Rieka's words and the sound 
of these caresses go with you, on your way to 
Zurich, as happy music, and proofs that your 
visit among us simple country folks has been 
a blessing which till our lives end we shall 
never forget. If again you pass this wa} r , do 
not fail to stop and share in the happiness you 
have made, and which by that time will have 
increased fourfold." 

Taking up his hat and cane, Lavater, after 
embracing both, stood in the door-way, and smil- 
ing said, 

"Your kind invitation, my dear children, to 


come and revisit you I shall keep unforgotten 
in my heart always, with the hope that Provi- 
dence will find forme the hour of leisure when 
I may do as you desire. Till then, God bless 
you, and farewell ! ' 




'THHE world has heard enough of King Stork 
and King Log, and in their time man- 
aged to live under them as comfortably as it 
could : but there is a new kingdom come whose 
subjects we Americans are ; and under that 
dispensation we have not learned at all to live 
comfortably. Their subjects, if devoured or 
neglected, could at least boast that both King 
Stork and King Log were born to the purple ; 
but in the Kingdom of Commonplace, if we 
suffer, our annoj^ance is doubled from the knowl- 
edge that the princes over us hold no hereditary 
title, but are the creatures of our own election. 
There it is where the shoe pinches most. Not 
only is this royalty often neither in honor, 
ability, or manners the equal of the society it 
rules ; but there is a certain gravitation down- 
wards in the selection of our rulers from a still 
lower social stratum. One feels a little like the 
jeering courtiers of Shakespeare's lord when 
seeing Christopher Sly usurping his place : but 


while they laugh he laughs too ; for ours is no 
distempered dream, but a fixed condition of 
things. And in one point our Christophers ex- 
ceed their rival, in their phlegm and down- 
right belief in the propriety of the situation. 

There was a time with us when as an office 
was filled there was a modest reluctance in the 
incumbent, who felt his deficiencies : he aimed 
to do justly and well, even if not brilliantly. 
Then we were proud of our republic ; for the 
homely virtues abounded, and we excused much 
when we knew there was conscience and 
good intention. It was sufficiently near the 
Greek ideal of the government of the best not 
to disturb our Republican confidence. Our 
numbers were less ; the fatal poison of a Doc- 
trine of Spoils had not been tasted, nor indeed, 
in the simplicity of life, were spoils to be gath- 
ered with a dangerous facility : but as riches 
swelled and living became more complex, with 
the rising tide rose visions of greed before a 
blunted conscience and a meaner official, till the 
nation began to look on with alarm. 

From this increasing demoralization, holding 

O O 

its head-quarters in New York, spread rapidly 
through many municipalities a political disease 

which our fathers never knew. A s} r stem of 


combination organized by bad men, wholly 
faithless to the rules of office and their pledged 
promise, came to the surface of the body politic, 
and got for itself the new name of a Ring. 

The cause of this was but too evident. The 
world has scarcely ever seen a more grotesquely 
painful spectacle than the Ring which but a 
few years ago ruled New York. Yet it should 
have been to nobody an unintelligible mischief. 
Emigrants who at home had not the faintest ex- 
perience in government, and often were so tur- 
bulent that the military arm was called in to 


suppress their factious disorder, Helots of so 
low an organization that it is even doubtful if 
education could fit them for good citizenship, 
were entrusted with a determining voice in the 
formation of government. That they would 
blunder was certain ; but that they should go 
to the criminal length thev did, was a horrible 

O v 

surprise to America and the world. 

Jacks in office had never before so abused 
their opportunity ; yet not they, but we our- 
selves, were in fault. We put into their ignorant 
hands the ballot they could not know how to 
use. Not the smallest training at home fitted 
them for any such function. But we cou- 
rageously, perhaps inevitably, entrusted them 


with the keeping and maintenance of our lib- 
erties. When they found that brain of theirs, 
and that will, so feeble and submissive at home, 
became a great weight in the scales of national 
destiny, they were easily tempted to an abuse, 
the end of which they could hardly measure 
themselves. Then was enacted a drama at 
which the world shuddered, comico-tfagic in its 
acting, and almost wholly tragic in its denoue- 
ment, if indeed it be over yet. The sword of 
justice is drawn and bared, but will it dare to 
strike? The Augean stable has its foul depth 
open to the day, but is the river of popular 
indignation strong enough to cleanse it thor- 
oughly as it should ? 

But the short-lived prosperity of these scoun- 
drels accomplished one good thing: it riveted 
the attention of the nation upon the abuse, and 
forced it not only to provide a swift cure, but 
prepared the thoughts of men for those changes 
in constitution and government which the 
nation sees to be inevitable. But in the mean 
time the ulcer of the Ring spread and contami- 
nated widely. Hitherto innocent municipali- 
ties, tempted by these infamous but legalized 
profits, lost their virtue and tampered with the 
shame. Suspicion and wide-spread distrust of 


public men was the consequence. The pos- 
sibility of impending evil made it probable ; 
and the same elements of a fear and alarm, 
though acting contrariwise, which had made 
the French Revolution almost hateful to the 
lovers of liberty, tainted every man's thought. 

But it is not of these mercenary foreigners and 
the city they misgoverned that I care to speak. 
In their selfish rapacity, their shalloAv-pated and 
short-sighted selfishness, devouring and tramp- 
ling their victims, they may serve as the repub- 
lican formula of King Stork. We leave to 
that retribution, which has been to them for 
the time so sudden and complete, an abstinence 
from farther notice. 

But it is of matters nearer home, of evils 
which are more under our e} T e, of that King- 
dom of the Commonplace, the reign of men 
of low ambition and dull selfishness, in short 
of the Republican formula of King Log, 
that I would now speak. The continuance of an 
eruption of the criminal classes into a city gov- 
ernment and places of honor must necessarily 
be short : it cures itself, through the indignation 
it inspires with all good citizens; and if sus- 
tained by chicanery, conspiracy, or a secret net- 
work of unavowed societies, the retribution will 


only be delayed. A citizen soldiery, armed with 
right and the support of the best, would soon 
put it down in the way with which Paris is 
only too familiar. The Americans are just the 
nation, with their electric quickness of inter- 
communication, and a practice of adjustment in 
political affairs, when a crisis threatens, to find 
a clever and complete way out of their diffi- 
culties ; for these bad men never seem to re- 
member that the affairs of this world are not 
given over to villany, however skilfully it may 
lay its schemes. There is an absolute gravita- 
tion of moral law, as secure as the axis of the 
world. A gravitation which moves not down- 
ward, but upward, and which finally annihi- 
lates every opposing obstacle. If there were 
one spiritual power friendly to these men, there 
always have been enough of them to re-estab- 
lish chaos and drown every divine decalogue. 
Though, when the day of terror comes, fright 
mav make us, for a time, abdicate that conviction 


of God's retributive justice which is the balance- 
wheel of organized society, it can never be pro- 
longed. Even the French Revolution, which 
burst upward like a volcano, its lava blasting 
every fair field of industry, that reign of ter- 
ror, lasted not ten years. And the rapidity 


with which its scars were effaced, and the tram- 
pled fields were laughing again with harvest, 
shows how secure is God's moral government. 
Every barrier which the insane workman of 
Paris in memory of that time has erected, lived 
but its hour. The cannon shot, armed with a 
divine vengeance, fell upon it as if winged with 
the justice of God. Therefore, if the future 
hold in store for us such a crisis again, we 
must prepare for it in full reliance upon the 
brevity of the hour of crime. King Stork will 
then find but insecure his new elevation above 
his subjects, from whose sharpness of beak no 
slyness of regard will avail, when the whole pool 
about him is in a tumult of judicial judgment. 
The soul of rapine which once made that self- 
ish figure, whether it bear the monarchical or 
democratic outline, so dangerous is getting ex- 
orcised everywhere under a more liberal sky. 

This danger is always, after all, one of the 
minor dangers of Democracy : it is not a part of 
its system ; it is merely an abuse of one of its priv- 
ileges. But the fear which King Log inspires 
is of quite another kind, and much more vital 
to the matter. For this has its root in the very 
heart of popular government. It shows no face 
of apparent tyranny ; its features are marked by 


neither insolence nor crime. But, if not omnip- 
otent, its powers of mischief are so drawn from the 
very life-blood of the State that lofty and tender 
spirits, already look upon its somewhat shape- 
less figure with alarm. The very fact that it 
is in such dangerous harmony with what we 
advocate, is so little conscious of delinquency 
that it needs no cloak for an hypocrisy it does 
not feel, but makes it the more dangerous. It 
considers itself a fair representative of the moral 
spirit of the hour. Its allies are not only the 
Catilines and the Wilkeses of the time, but these 
are largely re-enforced from men of the best 
intentions. There is danger of their catching 
the disease, and its becoming chronic before 
we are aware they are attacked. 

In a certain sense, the danger is not only 
unavoidable, but belongs of necessity to democ- 
racy. The world has hitherto seen itself ruled 
by princes and courts, who, even when their 
reign was noxious, held a certain knightly 
standard of honor and the grace of decent ap- 
pearances. The gloss of good manners covered 
a multitude of sins. If the peasant was robbed, 
the tradesman mulcted of his gains, they ac- 
quiesced in an authority which had the prestige 
of splendor. They might be brutal, they might 


be false, those who ruled the land ; but they 
could hardly be meanly vulgar. 

Now money is mean, or rather the baser forms 
of its acquisition. It is a great evil with us 
that money carries such weight, that money- 
making is so overvalued as a pursuit. Combine 
a false estimate of riches as the chief end of life, 
give us our rulers without any knightly ideal of 
government, and the modern democratic alder- 
man is the result. And though the American 
people have impulses to unselfish nobleness of 
character, as the late war amply shows, they 
must reconcile themselves to a level of popular 
government, which will have little flattering in 
its aspect. That is to say, for the first time 
a continent sees itself ruled by citizens chosen 
at random from their midst, the generous spirits 
in so small a minority among them that the ma- 
jority of those so chosen cannot have a higher 
standard than that of their daily life, and that 
no high one. But properly managed, it may still 
work well ; for it will be a true expression of 
the national life, and in a great degree in heart- 

, * 

ier sympathy with the bulk of the nation than 
could be the sway of kings or nobles. And 
while the tendency to rings must exist, and a 
contagion of vulgarity if not of fraud in office 


be liable to spread, it is a comfort to think 
that, like our continent emerging from the sea, 
through education and culture there is a con- 
stant rise to a loftier level in morals as well as 
refinement, carrying office-seekers and all to a 
greater height. 

The optimist and the pessimist will each see 
an encouragement for his own view, as he con- 
templates the one or the other of these con- 
flicting aspects. Let us not be discouraged ; for 
there is a radical justice in the democratic idea : 
it scares us because it trusts such mighty forces 
to untrained hands. It scares because it is like 
sailing into the unknown, this experiment of a 
people ruling itself. It is the mission of Amer- 
ica to show that it can be done. Not those who 
believe in it most are the most timid ; they trust 
bravely to the justice of its essential intention : 
it is only the wavering and the faithless who 
are ready to betray their master. And as the 
mere habit of living creates an affection and con- 
fidence by which that life exists, so every hour 
strengthens with the good the adhesive princi- 
ple of familiar love, and by so much the repub- 
lic possesses a vital defence. 

But because to the timid the future may be 
big with danger, because to the student of his- 



tory our experiment may seem too rash, is it any 
reason why the citizens, loyal to a hope which 
should be the hope of the world, should not 
do their best by spirited action to keep, through 
all its details, our government sweet and hon- 
est, frowning with irrepressible anger upon that 
maladministration the end of which is death. 

We are too pliant and amiable a people : 
many things go by default here, because no one 
has the courage to stand up and say, No ! It 
seems nobody's business because it is every- 
body's ; and so by a weak compliance, of which 
later we are ashamed, we yield to the pressure 
of a mean selfishness. 

One may usurp power here in almost any 
direction, if he have the good fortune to make 
his start without much observation. Take the 
case of the horse railroads. If there be any 
thing which may be called the property of the 
people, the tax-payers, and inhabitants of a 
town, it is their roads : they are the arteries 
through which the life circulates. In proportion 
as a people has good or bad roads, does it have 
civilization or barbarism. In England a road 
is called the Queen's highway, and in so saying 
speaks not for herself but her people. Here it 
should be called the People's highway, unob- 


structed, accessible to all, and with no barrier 
across it from any class. With the great net- 
work of the roads of iron, the railroads, it is 
otherwise. These are necessarily the property 
of private individuals ; and they make laws for 
them as they think best, under the control of the 
state. Never did a good-natured people, how- 
ever, since the world began, lose, for the sake 
of a few, its hold and control over that most 
intimate of all possessions, the right of highway. 
Without the slightest claim beyond that of 
a bill passed in its favor, to the astonishment of 
all, a corporation for putting down rails in the 
public streets was formed. The horse-car un- 
doubtedly is a convenient and cheap convey- 
ance for suburban residents. But, however great 
the convenience, it had no right to annul the 
immemorial use of our public roads as a way for 
vehicles. This, to a very great extent, it does : 
it blocks the course ; its rails dislocate the 
wheels of carriages ; horses slip and fall on them ; 
and it relegates to the outside rim the former 
owners of the road. And haughty, if not inso- 
lent as was this usurping power ; not content 
with what the generosity of a legislature had 
given them, these tram-ways conspire to take 
possession wherever they desire, of a street in 


the city or a road in the country. Not only no 
vehicle, but no householder fronting upon their 
track, has any rights they deem worthy of respect. 
And their plots ramify out of sight ; influencing, 
we care not to know how, the decisions of city 
governments where no visible interest of these 


corporations is at stake. They are the bully of 
the present and the terror of the future hour. 
Already a whisper circulates of a coming assault 
and invasion of old city rights. They are sup- 
posed to be at the bottom of the plot. They 
have already destroyed the lordly Centennial 
Paddock elms, and rumor" hints at the devasta- 
tion of the play-ground and breathing-space of 
all, our beautiful Common. It may be that 
they are a necessity : that the advantage of so 
many must override the ancient purpose for 
which the road was made. But with the ex- 
ception of one honorable merchant who rushed 
from his house and remonstrated with these 
disturbers of his peace, who were carrying their 
rods of inoffensive metal before his door, and 
the late hubbub vainly enough made about the 
projected track in Columbus Avenue, the whole 
rights of us all were tamely allowed to go by de- 
fault. It was the most shining example of that 
pliant submissiveness and accommodating weak- 


ness of which we see so much in all directions 

London tried it, but the iron entered her soul ; 
and she precipitately pulled it out of her streets. 
If there is to be in the future a silent under- 
standing between these powerful corporations 
and our city officers, we shall have to form a 
counter-conspiracy to meet them. Already for 
the protection of our invaluable Common, a 
better friend to the poor than it can be to the 
rich, an organized opposition to these selfish 
people has been suggested ; and, if the evil symp- 
toms we fear should show themselves, that may 
be the citizens' last resource to shield from abuse 
this noble heirloom of the past. 

Perhaps one may call this with some doubt 
the work of King Log. Yet it was his drowsy 
spirit, blind to beauty and the duty of something 
more than business considerations, that was the 
inspiration of these his representatives. It is 
that low level of eye-sight that will not look 
higher than the dollar, of which we complain. 
It is this neglect of all aesthetic considerations, 
or aim at noble and dignified decoration, that 
alarms us, less even by what it has done, than 
what it prophesies for the future. 

There is something pitiably discordant be- 


tween two such facts as these. On the one side 
we see a city made beautiful more and more 
from year to year. We see it sanctified by 
churches whose architecture proclaims a willing 
sacrifice of money for an adequate expression of 
homage to the Creator, and encircled with insti- 
tutions unexceeded elsewhere in usefulness and 
good. And, on the other side, we see a policy of 
premeditated shabbiness in high places, which is 
a sad augury for the way we are going. 

These churches, these institutions, these 
museums, the charities of Boston, rest mainly 
upon the shoulders of a few. From fifty to a 
hundred people act, and have always acted, in 
this generous spirit. They have made the Bos- 
ton which the world admires and America imi- 
tates ; but there is small cordiality between 
them and the petty influences which move the 
thoughts of the men we criticise. These per- 
petuated benefactors of Boston are ignored by 
the political class : it may be that there is such 
a feeling of half hostility as is natural between 
men of such different motives ; but we cannot 
help saying that this contrast should be dimin- 
ished. It is the man of greed and selfish ambi- 
tion who not only prates of economy, but 
practises it when he can do it at the expense 


of other people. But they must be taught that 
there is no such true selfishness as generosity ; 
and no such poor economy as that which pinches 
the life it should foster, diminishing salaries 
when nobly earned, and postponing for a little 
saving a work of usefulness, leaving barrenness 
in its place. 

The grief that we have tried to describe is 
plainly this, though we all accept the principle 
of Democracy, we do not at all like to have our 
masters caricature and even abuse it. 

When an American returns from abroad, he 
is at once struck at the custom-houses of our 
larger seaports, with the want of system, the 
discourtesy, and not rarely a brutal carelessness, 
which ends in injury to the more delicate arti- 
cles he has brought with him ! A microscope 
will be broken, its lenses shattered, while at the 
same time the full duty be exacted for what 
the official has made useless. Boxes containing 
statues will be recklessly pulled about; others, 
with pictures in them, so opened that the canvas 
or the frame is injured ; and there is rarely the 
slightest knowledge of how these objects should 
be safely replaced and their cases made secure. 
This ignorance and brutal treatment are liable 
to recur whenever there is an object which re- 


quires delicate handling. Expostulation is use- 
less ; or, if made, the traveller may find that 
he has returned home to meet an impertinence 
which Europe could not furnish. He comes back, 
his breast glowing more than ever with patriot- 
ism ; but this treatment from one, the appointed 
guardian of his interests as well as the Govern- 
ment's officer, reduces the temperature consider- 
ably. Attached to every custom-house should 
be an expert, well-mannered and careful to see 
that the traveller's rights are not assailed. 

I do not speak of the tenebrous roguery 
and unsuspected cheating which sometimes 
burst forth to light from these nests of gov- 
ernment patronage. These belong to the Law, 
and not to the essayist, to try and condemn. 
It is the tone of vulgarity, the absence of high 
aim and purpose of state officials, that we com- 
plain of. And we only complain of them, in the 
hope that reform, the watchword now of our 
better era, may reach them, and not remain an 
empty cry. 

There has been no serious attempt in that 
direction, no proper supervision of inferiors by 
superiors, till now. The country will welcome 
such a notice and such control. The lofty patri- 
otism, the vigilant but generous purpose, which 


animates the government at Washington is the 
best omen for our future. And we have no 
doubt this sweet light of moral intention, now 
the rallying sign for the good to the govern- 
ment of the Republic, will reach every dark 
place and its unworthy tenant. 





r I ^HERE is many a marriage which the priest 
cannot consecrate, many a nuptial bond 
which the ring cannot sanctify. For the heart 
is not in it, and there are the seeds of incom- 
patibility and separation from the first. 

The marriage of the North and South was 


consummated before the nations with every show 
of a love and fidelity for a voluntary contract ; 
but the heart was not in it, and the Union was 
but a name. 

This paper has no wish to say evil of any 
thing or anybody; but it desires to expose the 
fatal force of circumstances powerful enough 
even to annul so sacred a bond. 

There is no doubt that there was good faith 
in the beginning. Though the noble words of 
Patrick Henry were a too fervent expression 
perhaps for an alliance of discordant principles, 
it was the true expression of that revolutionary 
heat which naturally animated the impending 


struggle. It was no time then or during the war 
for a nice adjustment of rival advantages, and 
clauses of compromise ; for the latent antagonism 
then was fused into a common sentiment. The 
seeds of the prosperity of the South were not 
then sown : it was feeling its way to the future, 
and tilling its rich soil with but a poor return 
for the labor expended upon it. It had reserve 
and coldness towards the Federal Union, whose 
chiefs, first Washington and then Jefferson, won 
a national glory which the South loves to remem- 
ber, for both were her children. The genius of 
command she had from the first. Political wis- 
dom and the love of freedom she could study 
in books, if she saw but little of it about her. 
The metaphysics of politics she made her own, 
through contemplation and study of the past. 
The sturdy good sense which criticises a theory 
made small part of her habit of life. This dia- 
lectical skill, this French preference for a con- 
stitution on paper, for political schemes born of 
the head, but which practice dissolves, was 
shown from the first. Fortunately it was but a 
little part of the balanced, equable mind of 
Washington ; but, when the conflict was over, it 
made the pen of Jefferson the natural instrument 
for that statement of rights, and marshalling of 


grievances, we call the Declaration of Indepen- 

This recites that men are born free and equal : 
men are born helpless and unequal. There is 
irony in the fact that a Southerner and a slave- 
holder should have been the one to put the 
rights of man so strongly. 

Through the Revolutionary War one sees no 
sign of distrust of the new bond, no glimpse of 
any belief in the precipice towards which the 
stormy waters were moving. .We may, there- 
fore, consider that the Southern States entered 
upon the fulfilment of their part of the duties 
of a federation which gave to the world a new 
nation in good faith and cordial fellowship with 
the North. 

But when afterwards the terms of the union 
were to be arranged, the want of familiarity with 
the new principles of government as well as the 
letter of the Constitution, made the impossibility 
of any chemical affinity to be shown at once. 
When votes were to be counted, a slave was 
made to match a freeman ; though " all men are 
born free and equal," the negro did not find it 
at all true, but his master acted for him as if he 
did so. The three-fifths rule describes an impos- 
sible relation which already threatened trouble. 


The reluctant but not long delayed assent of the 
North to it was the first of those many conces- 
sions which it made afterwards for the sake of 
unity and peace. 

This assent must have inspired instinctively 
a hope of farther concession in the South. It 
was they who nourished the delicate plant of 
slavery ; and the North must see to it that no 
rude legislation, dictated by liberty, should in- 
terfere with its life. The North must be its 
guardian, shelter it from foreign and domestic 
assault, and proclaim for it everywhere a consid- 
eration which its heart belied. For the South, 
the Constitution simply meant slavery. It was 
the weak stone of the arch, and for the whole 
arch's sake must be constantly looked after. 

And the North, knowing well how fragile and 
tender a germ was that of the new Constitution, 
were willing from the first to make every sacri- 
fice to preserve what represented the national 
life. Around it the North saw sturdily spread- 
ing the broad limbs of the tree of liberty, 
Christian villages dotting the wilderness, the 
town-meeting and the State government hourly 
more a.nd more vitalized with the homogeneous 
spirit of Puritan freedom. It saw little and 
thought less of the difficulties of its Southern 


brethren ; and so from the first each grew apart. 
But at the South, as the feeling of something 
to defend, something endangered by the sen- 
timent of justice implanted in the breasts of 
all men, grew stronger, a policy of such de- 
fence inevitably took every day a deeper root. 
And that sense of insecurity gave them skill. 
The training of the plantation gave them the 
habit of command. The practice of getting 
their knowledge, not from the world about 
them, but from books, gave them political subt- 
lety. And thus the discordant spectacle was 
presented of slave States living a life alien to 
all the principles believed in by Anglo-Saxon 
freemen, and yet their sons often the foremost 
leaders under the national government. 

This long current of influences w r hich forms 
the Southern politician, it is easy to look upon 
through the perspective of history. But at no 
time the man who was a part of it saw much 
more than the policy of the hour. But always 
in this world, 

" There's a divinity that shapes our ends, 
Roughhew them how we will." 

Circumstances play a much greater part than 
has ever been understood, even by the actors in 
life's game, and often less by the historian who 


describes those actions. A genius in one direc- 
tion or another may guide a people, but be- 
hind him and behind them they are drifting, or 
steering, as the hidden hand may guide. And 
that is why the philosopher looks so coldly 
upon each hour of crisis which inflames and 
misguides the passions of the multitude. Never 
since the world began did circumstance touch 
the rudder of the ship of State with more 
tremendous influence upon a nation's destiny 
than when it gave the cotton-seed to the South. 
The little box which bore from the West Indies 
to South Carolina the seeds of the cotton-plant 
was as the box of Pandora. Hope it was 
indeed necessary should be left at the bottom 
of it, if that age could have seen in anticipation 
all the evil it contained. That little innocent 
ball of downy snow, pure as if fallen fresh 
from heaven, was a more powerful agent for 
good and evil than any prophet could have 

From the earliest time linen held the place, as 
a light fabric, that cotton-cloth finally usurped. 
In the tombs of Egypt we find no trace of such a 
thing as a cotton garment. Linen was wrought 
to a great degree of fineness, and that we find 
there plentifully. China from an early date 


manufactured cloth from cotton ; and, as an ex- 
port to Europe and America, we have seen in 
our day its abandonment. Little boys and many 
men, fifty years ago, wore summer dresses of 
nankeen ; but it is now obsolete. The throne 
of the coming king, the great King Cotton, is in 
America. Here, by the avowal of all nations, 
not only is thread of the finest staple grown, 
but the extent and certainty of the supply ex- 
ceed that of any or all other nations. But the 
South had little to do as the primary source of 
the new kingdom of that innocent royalty which 
has set so many armies in battle. England, the 
home of Wilberforce, the author of the emanci- 
pation of the slave, holds the first place in that 
manufacturing conspiracy which fostered this 
new power. France comes next, and the North- 
ern States joined the alliance, though they had 
comparatively, as an efficient cause, little to do 
with the growth of this new convenience. The 
South meant slavery, and slavery meant cotton. 
Tobacco and rice needed the same labor as cot- 
ton, and that the South has even till now only 
found in the negro. In the beginning, the mind 
of man there was sufficiently loyal to liberty to 
remonstrate, while we were the subjects of Eng- 
land, with the mother-country against her insist- 


ence upon the introduction of slave labor. B ut the 
growing prosperity under the new industry soon 
absorbed this sentiment of freedom, and reconciled 
it to what it found so profitable. And with hu- 
man nature as weak as it is, would any other nation 
have refused this boon ? For it was for no mess 
of pottage that they sold their birthright. For 
the last twenty years, though cotton is not quite 
the king the slave States thought it to be, it is 
only the second in value of American products. 
That first is the innocent, universal, necessary 
grass-blade, which stored and dried is hay. 

The expansion of the growth of cotton at the 
South is one of the wonders of the world. Not 
long before the year 1800, a vessel bringing some 
little to Liverpool as a part of its cargo, the claim 
of its being a growth of the American soil was 
denied, and the cotton seized. A statistical table, 
showing the yearly advance of this product as 
sold in the markets of England, marks with gi- 
gantic strides the extension of the growth of this 
plant. The prosperity which the sale of this one 
commodity induced, wherever it was grown, 
sufficed for the South. It had but one ambition, 
first to retain and then to extend the culture of 
it ; and that desire introduced a new and very 

formidable principle. Under the complete farm- 
10* o 


ing of plantations, new land became a necessity 
for the planter. These two master necessities 
first, the security of the growth, and, secondly, 
the necessity of new lands were the guiding 
interests of all Southern statesmanship. They 
were indifferent to the introduction of its manu- 
facture (though, oddly enough, South Carolina 
can claim to have been the first State to propose 
a tariff), for it knew that the negro was too 
unskilful to become a workman in a mill. They 
had little interest in all that fosters commerce, 
or opens new States to a population wholly free ; 
for their interest did not lie in either of these 
directions. Circumstance was daily inducing a 
feebler hold upon those rights of freemen which 
lay at the foundation of the virtue of the North ; 
and all that goes with successful industry resting 
npon human oppression became inevitably hourly 
dearer to them. It was not as they might desire 
or choose, but as they must. Probably it was 
by an insensible change that they found them- 
selves aliens at home, Americans, but not 
rightly belonging to America. Their policy, at 
first subtle and tenebrous, became ere long arro- 
gant through confidence in all the metaphysi- 
cal falsities which the genius of Calhoun could 
inspire. The habit of command, an indifference 


to all rights which were not those of the clomi- 


nant aristocracy, led to a bastard chivalry. For 
protection, not only from enemies on every side, 
which their system created, but also from the 
touchy and quarrelsome spirit of their equals, 
nourished in each plantation where every mas- 
ter was a little king, a habit of duelling and 
carrying arms. At Washington it spread more 
than once, among the peaceful representatives 
of the North, a reign of terror. The moral en- 
mity of the chemical activities of what the North 
and South believed, perplexed both parties. A 
Northern man could not fight without loss of 
consideration at home ; and a Southern man 
could not abstain from fighting for the same rea- 
son. Behind the Southerner's soft voice and 
courtly manners, there was something which an- 
noyed, if it did not terrify, his Northern brother. 
And the natural fear that the surging mass of 
oppressed blacks should rise somewhere in insur- 
rection, inspired in the Southern mind, through 
fear, that final dissatisfaction with the prin- 
ciples of justice and liberty which it considered 
dangerous, and made them, in all but the name, 
the least American of earthly men. The growth 
of these antagonistic practices cannot be better 
shown than by the single fact that, while the 


North was laying deep the teachings of liberty 
for the future in an extended and costly system 
of common schools, the South was denying the 
right of education to the negro. 

At last slavery formulized and incarnated 
its idea in a man. Educated of course at the 
North, for the South had no satisfactory college, 
Calhoun turned all that he had acquired of in- 
genuity and sophistry to the support of the 
cause he considered himself bound to defend. 
But an upright and loyal Irishman met his dia- 
lectics with an iron will of resistance. General 
Jackson could act and suppress revolt, but he 
could not speak. Circumstance and a watchful 
providence furnished from the lips of Webster 
a patriotic and judicial eloquence which was a 
new declaration of rights to the lovers of their 

The battle for the world which Grant won was 
anticipated and made easy by a victory over a 
man of ability who spoke as representative of the 
Southern idea. His saucy impertinence to our 
State, which perhaps led the mind of the time, 
a State whose cause was that of every sister State 
untainted by bondage, drew upon his cause 
such a weight of moral indignation, such an elo- 
quent fire of retributive justice, that it fell and 


withered as before lightning. The rebellion 
which South Carolina then contemplated was 
inchoate : it slumbered like coals under ashes till 
the whole South at a later period burst into 

flame. At his death-bed when President Jack- 
son was asked by the attending clergyman if 
his soul was at peace, and he left the world with 
nothing to regret, " Yes, by the Eternal, there is a 
thing to regret, that I did not hang Calhoun." 

We may imagine that such a violent catas- 
trophe might have smothered forever rebellion 
and taught the South a lesson : but it is a mis- 
take to think so ; for, like a rapid driving to 
its fall, men's thoughts there were all moving 
the same way, for the same end, and with the 
same violence. It might postpone, but it could 
not avert a crisis in the nature of things inevi- 
table. When poison loads the air, and the health 
of the body or the mind is tainted by it, Nature 
clears up the pestilence by a thunder-storm. 
So the thunder of the cannon was the only 
chemistry through which a change could be 
effected, which should keep the nation sound 
and whole, and not two unavowed enemies. 

It is not every one at the North who under- 
stands where the South anticipated the trouble 
its conscience feared. Moving in an opposite 


direction to the moral forces of the world, it 
had but two safeguards, the possession it 
had taken of the world of manufactures and 
commerce, the friend it had created wherever a 
cotton-mill stood, and the permission guaranteed 
to it by the American Constitution. In anticipa- 
tion of the revolt it feared, it had prepared a 
postern of escape in State Rights ; the just 
dominion of a Federal State it made, through 
exaggeration, a fanaticism ; and the reason was 
simple, if slavery should be nationally threat- 
ened through the vote of a majority, it meant to 
dissolve the Union, and withdraw within the 
limits of its State lines. Their country was 
not the United States, but the States which 
practised slavery. At home it knew there was 
but one opinion, but the general government 
might become its enemy. This is pointedly 
shown in the following anecdote : 

Captain Ingraham, a native of South Carolina, 
but serving in the American navy, had won great 
renown for his patriotic daring in seizing from 
Austria a person who claimed to be an Amer- 
ican citizen. The " London Times ' wrote in 
admiration, " Would ever England so stand by 
a subject of its own ! ' Meeting the captain in 
Paris, just before the civil convulsion, I ven- 


tured to ask him, who had just given such 
increased dignity to the American name, on 
which side he should place himself in the coming 

" Of course, I shall go with my State," the 
gentleman replied. 

I was astonished, but said in return, " What- 
ever happens, we at the North will not go with 
our State, but with our Country." 

As two inclining lines are fated to meet some- 


where, so the oppugnant directions of North and 
South met at the point which the latter consid- 
ered vital to its prosperity. Monstrous Slavery 
must be fed by the acquisition of new land. In 
cold blood, the South had fomented a quarrel with 
Mexico, and the North was to help in fighting for 
slavery by the acquisition of Texas. To the dis- 
gust and surprise of the South, the same war 
gave the North and Freedom a makeweight for 
this acquisition in the purchase of California. 
That was made a State through Northern emi- 
gration: and but for a moment, when intrigue 
nearly seduced it, its heart was always given to 
freedom. Then the field of contest was Kan- 
sas ; and, in opposition to all the South could 
do, it rightfully made one more of the States 
which are free. The South brooded over its dis- 


appointment, and thought the hour near when the 
hostile majority they had feared would endanger 
the very life of slavery. As its motives could 
not be avowed, the decision to make the election 
of Mr. Lincoln the point of separation took 
the nation by surprise. The North could only 
see in him a wise and constitutional ruler who 
would be scrupulous to render to the South all 
that the Constitution had given her. But the 
South saw in his election the overthrow of its 
hopes of controlling the nation. Both parties 
were irritated by a natural antagonism, feverish 
with a delayed issue, and fanatical for liberty or 
slavery as each deemed theirs the one thing need- 
ful. The North had, with great patience, for 
a long time borne, through loyalty to the Con- 
stitution, the taunts of foreign nations and the 
violence of a small but energetic party in their 
midst who had but one creed, the instant aboli- 
tion of slavery. This party, composed of hetero- 
geneous materials, was led by a man, simple 
and brave, who in his own person had tasted 
of the sweets of oppression. And there was an 
orator to fire men's souls, gifted as few orators 
are with all the arts of eloquent invective, and 
there were humble and tender souls who sacri- 
ficed the privacy they loved, to become suspected 



among their friends, but driven by an impulse 
they considered divine and which they could not 

The South, from the first, had feared this 
small party of the abolitionists. How small 
they were we have half forgotten, since the 
whole nation has moved to their place and even 
beyond it. What they saw in the distance, 
as the ultima Thule of their hopes, the nation 
has long since reached and made its own. But, 
with some spirits, the ardor of enthusiasm be- 
came so familiar that they continue to thunder 
and lighten unobservant of what the patriots 
they denounced had done in their own direction. 
They have tasted the luxury of influence, the joy 
of battle, and will not turn their faces towards 
a reconciliation in which, neither at its terrible 
beginning nor peaceful end, they had much part. 

One would have thought there was but one 
virtue in the world, and that they had the mo- 
nopoly of it ; and thus, as they publicly withdrew 
from that Union which they had called a " com- 
pact with hell ; ' so now, though their wildest 
desires are surpassed, they are rather spectators 
than participants in the marvellous Unity which 
was again made whole without them. 

And in the days of trouble, when a spiritual 


selfishness released them from the burden that 
had to be borne, the wiser, more cautious, more 
patriotic citizens whom some had denounced, 
knowing that the one bond which held us all 
together was the Constitution and that with- 
out it the nation was at sea, bore it without 
them. The world has never done the latter 
justice. It was loyalty to the duty that was 
nearest which made them seem to disregard 
the moral meaning of the time. They hated 
slavery as much as any, but they loved America 
even more than they hated that. They were 
content to be misunderstood and vilipended, 
knowing well, 

" They also serve who only stand and wait." 

They felt, perhaps unwisely, that the complica- 
tion was too great even for a hater of slavery 
when burdened with the restraints of the Consti- 
tution. They or their sons, later when Provi- 
dence struck the hour for the slaves' release, 
were found in the front ranks of the nation's 
saviours. With them, indeed, must be counted 
the indifferent and the great herd whose moral 
energy is too weak not to prefer the sweets of a 
shameful present to the danger and fatigues of a 
glorious future. 

When slavery was abolished, the life of the 


slave-owner ceased to have any intelligible 
meaning. With the best intentions to accept 
the decision, which he had invited of the matter 
by war, the Southerner could not be expected 
to abjure so wholly his past as to be at home in 
his new position. The habits of a life, familiar- 
ity with slavery, its uses and abuses, forbade it. 
No position could be crueller than his. Through 
his bravery, he had exhausted by a pertinacious 
tenacity all the resources of the South. Arid, as 
one of a class, wholly unfamiliar with labor of 
any sort, he could neither gain a living or pay 
for slave-labor so suddenly become free. His 


pride, and that of the women of the South as 
well, made them stoically endure what only time 
could cure. Not only was a negro looked upon 
still as a slave, whose manumission was enforced 
without his master's consent, but he bore towards 
him that natural enmity which his cause, identi- 
fied with that of the North, made so natural. 

Outrages occurred, and the half-smothered 
civil war at times flamed up between these two 
races. Activity and labor were for a time at a 
stand-still, and Northern emigrants, who hoped 
to profit by the cheapness of land and the sym- 
pathy of the slave, found their affairs going 
from bad to worse. Many returned after the 


failure of their attempt, and the supposed fugi- 
tive visit of the rest won for them the unpleas- 
ant appellation of " carpet-baggers." As the 
Northern emigrant and the freed slave were in 
alliance, they could consider the war continued, 
though under a new aspect and through differ- 
ent methods. The pressure which they both 
bore upon the slave-owner would reinforce his 
old prejudices, and make it difficult for him to 
forget the past and make the best of the future. 
To his surprise and dislike, he found the blacks, 
from whom he had always withheld education, 
quick and clever to learn not only the common- 
places of teaching, but manifesting a consider- 
able aptitude for politics and public affairs. 
The absence of all training and education 
among the negroes before the war, he might 
have supposed would leave them helpless and 
adrift under their new responsibilities ; but he 
found that, though they could not overcome 
wholly their former awe at the sight of a white 
man, the new familiarity with arms brought 
their self-respect to a higher level, and with 
exasperation he found them willing to face their 
old masters if severely wronged. 

It was the inevitable necessity that the end of 
the old practices and prejudices, and the begin- 


ning of a new order of things, must be slow. 
Slowly the former dynasty faded and died away. 
Slowly the old generation relinquished the be- 
lief of a lifetime : but there is an end to all 
things ; and, as the life of their system slavery 
had received its death-blow, the habits and 
usages it bred necessarily died with it. 



To such a question there would seem to be 
but one answer : There is now nothing to fight 
for, nothing to hope for, in the old perished doc- 
trine of the enslavement of the black race. If 
there should be a conspiracy to that effect, 
the most improbable thing in the world, it 
must fail. Not only would the North at once 
suppress it, but the new colored citizens of the 
South would not find it a matter too difficult for 
them to deal with. Gaining hourly self-respect 
and confidence, and a better training in military 
service, they would prove equal to the occasion 
without Northern aid. That brutal persons 
should at times express the old sentiments, and 
endeavor to keep the blacks under by humilia- 
tion and outrage, is to be expected ; but the 
present relation between the races must modify 


this barbarity, and bring about, through the help 
of mutual advantage, a reconciliation. The 
next generation, if it have not forgotten the sins 
of the fathers, will see all things from a different 
standpoint. Time, in national as well as indi- 
vidual troubles, is the great healer. What 
France calls " un fait accompli " is omnipotent. 
The passionate ignorance of human affairs 
evinced by the slaveholders may make them less 
ready to accept a change, heartily as well as 
legally, than are the nations of Europe, familiar 
with political convulsions. But they cannot 
turn aside the stern decree of fate. And in 
one important particular they seem already to 
have accepted it. The false political economy, 
the daily and nightly terror bred by slaveiy, 
have left them awakened to the discovery that 
that institution was a bale and not a blessing. 
They are glad to be rid of it, and can now sleep 
in peace. If they prefer a suicidal policy, to 
be putting ever obstacles in the path of prog- 
ress, they may delay their own prosperity, and 
refuse for long all the advantages of freedom. 
It rests with them to be Americans, as we all 
are, proud of their birthright, with no covert 
disloyalty to the Constitution, so unlike the one 
to which they owed their former impunity. A 


tide of good-will, of better feeling, forgiveness 
and forgetfulness of the former enmity, is visibly 
rising throughout the nation. We hail a hap- 
pier day, 

" When the war-drum throbs no longer, 
And the battle-flags are furled." 

When breast to breast we march together, both 
children of a happy confederation, expectant of 
that final amity of all peoples, as the poet ends 
his verse, 

. . . " in the federation of the world." 

The one question the North and South ask 
now is, Can the former slave States find under 
freedom a prosperity which shall make them 
forget their allegiance to the principle of oppres- 
sion ? Can the black meet successfully the ter- 
rible axiom of the survival of the fittest, and 
hold and occupy his new place ? Is he willing 
to work ? Has he an ambition for honor and 
comfort sufficient to save him from the abject 
indolence and uselessness into which he at least 
has partially fallen in the West Indies ? Is his 
brain, so quick to acquire, equal to the strain of 
civic duty, the fortitude needful in his daily 
affairs? If not, is the principle of freedom a 
sufficient attraction for the swarms of emigrants 
Europe sends, and the freedmen of the North, to 


take his place if he should leave it vacant ? A 
self-constituted prophet might to these questions 
give a confident answer ; but time only can 
know what secret it withholds. There is every 
reason to suppose that the blacks will soon gain 
so much of industry, knowledge, and temperance 
as to become in their degree children of a new 
civilization. If, with their new rights and their 
new duties, they should not, they must bear the 
responsibility of the failure, as must the whites 
in their turn if they should be false to the advan- 
tages which freedom offers. There is no reason 
for alarm, nor perhaps should our expectations 
be too high. Both races are under a disadvan- 
tage. The one, that thus far all its beliefs and 
habits have been un-American and un-republi- 
can, while the other has the prodigious disad- 
vantage of an inferior brain to work with. 

We cannot with these two expect the South, 
at least presently, to rise to the level of States 
wholly white and always accustomed to liberty. 
We must be content with a degree of advance 
which circumstances permit. But if the black 
should comport himself as a citizen should, and 
the white forego his evil plantation manners, a 
Northern emigration of freemen may descend 
there, bearing with them the seeds of a better 


culture, a better civilization, and thereby carry 
both the master and the slave to a higher level. 
And white industry, intelligent and many- 
handed, may find that there are sources of 
profit hitherto neglected. The planter may 
adhere to his plantation farming ; but these 
new-comers may find the land profitable for 
more things than cotton. The orange, the fig, 
the olive, may hereafter be seen in those fields 


once only white with the cotton-plant. And 
the cotton-mill may stand at the side of the 
cotton-field, saving the labor of transport, and 
manufacturing near their own doors. And the 


silk-worm may desert the plains of Lombardy, 
and make its home in a climate which it will 
not find to be hostile. 

China may with surprise see tea which rivals 
her own, and Cuba discover that not she alone 
holds the monopoly of the finer qualities of 
tobacco. Ships shall ride in her harbors, glad to 
bear the treasures of their soil and the products 
of their looms to distant nations. A better and 
more varied agriculture may succeed in raising 
growths which the slovenly method of the past 
has forbidden. A good mechanic may at last 
be known in the land, with a more convenient 
house architecture, a better provision against 
11 p 


the season's changes, doors that will shut and 
windows that will open, may be the improve- 
ments of that better day. And when their rep- 
resentatives meet ours in the councils of the 
nation, they will not come with a secret disloy- 
alty to Freedom, and all the fears which fol- 
lowed the path of the vanished spectre, but with 
frank allegiance and cordiality ; and a common 
purpose of unconflicting and useful legislation 
then shall be the heralds of America's consum- 
mation, the beneficent glory, without blot or flaw, 
of a Union of confederated States, not nominal 
only, but complete and enduring. 




1VJEVER did American good-nature show to 
* ^ better advantage than after the Civil War. 
Not a rebel chief was shot, not a rebel soldier 
imprisoned. As the arms of conflict dropped 
from the hands of the combatants, those hands 
were ready to lift themselves in a mutual em- 
brace ; but both 'had enough to do to direct 
and set on his feet the negro, the cause of 
the quarrel. Their and our methods differ, and 
both are likely to be tried before we are done 
with them. 

Indeed, without our national amiability, a re- 
public would seem impossible. But, as we said 
before, this amiability should not be carried too 
far. When horse-cars are stuffed as if with 
slaves packed for the " middle passage," when 
tipsy men disgust by their brutality women 
and children, the public should remember its 
rights, and see that the fare paid secures to 
each one a seat, even if the number of cars 


need to be doubled ; and that the passenger be 
safe from the oaths and turbulence of roughs 
and the inebriate. 

American good-nature is proverbial. Some- 
thing of that Arcadian good-fellowship and 
simplicity, which Rousseau supposed belonged 
to the savage state, may be found here. This 
good-nature is an interesting subject for study, 
as the lights and shades of it enter largely 
into the composition of our picture, the pic- 
ture of America as it is to-day. The causes 
of this amiability it may be useful to point 
out, as helping us to a better understanding 
of ourselves, and how to deal with its shady 

One might have thought that ambitious men, 
equal before the law, yet trying to surpass 
their fellows, would have brought much acri- 
mony and insolence into their struggling ambi- 
tion. One would have thought that a climate 
so imperious, so exciting, so nervous, would 
have soured the most amiable tempers ; but, if 
there be any thing of these, they do not much 
abate the general amiability. It certainly is 
not from our fathers that we inherit this trait. 
Their virtues and their faults are the reverse 
of our medal. If the Englishman be difficult of 


access, short in reply, having that watery moodi- 
ness which a hundred years ago was called 
spleen, he also has " the qualities of his faults." 
He is manly, truth-loving, and will not have his 
personality easily invaded. Now, the American 
is somewhat the opposite of all this, and his 
faults may be expected to be as unlike those of 
his kinsman as are his virtues. If we should 
borrow from our English cousins their down- 
rightness and honesty in dealing with the 
unpleasant side of our subject, we owe the 
reader no apology. There is no good in shirk- 
ing truths, though to name them is to wound a 
vanity which nourishes itself only on sugar. A 
critic, on being once taxed with abusing his 
native town, replied, " I do not abuse : I only 
describe." If ever we are to recover that ro- 
bustness of personality, that instant denunciation 
of the evil that strikes the eye, that martyr 
spirit which separates a man from the crowd, 
the beginning must be made by a full recog- 
nition of the need of reform. In bringing the 
Englishman and American into comparison, 
their considerable difference of temper makes 
us ask, " And are they not the same race, of the 
same blood, and has not the offspring broken 
from the parent stock only a poor two hundred 


and fifty years ? ' Such questions stimulate us 
to search for the discovery of these differences 
which time has so swiftly established. One 
must theorize a little and risk mistakes, if one 
dare to investigate. It is sad to say that, like 
the diagnosis of the physician, " To point out 
a disease is not necessarily to cure it." But 
both he and we may thus hope to do something 
by an indication which includes counsel and 

It is observable that the sun stimulates life, 
and its withdrawal produces gloom and deadens 
that expansion of the vital forces which engen- 
ders sympathy. Sympathy is a word in not very 
good odor in England. The Englishman stands 
alone in his cloud ; but the bright sun of America 
fuses us into a common mass, as heat does bul- 
lets. And yet England, too, is a unit, as, in- 
deed, without knowing it, all nations are. 
Patriotism never fails in Great Britain. How 
obstinate and tenacious it is, Bonaparte found 
out to his cost. Their patriotism springs from 
their pride and character. Ours from the head, 
a genuine belief in the value of the institu- 
tions we stand for. All southern nations, if 
they be quick and vindictive, have a sunny tem- 
per : that fruit ripens in their sunshine at least. 


If this be true, we have a fair right to be more 
amiable than our progenitors. But we have 
something more than sunshine. "With an alter- 
ation of Byron's line, we all feel 


..." the electric chain wherewith we are ' brightly/ 

In no other way does the whole country tele- 
graph its news, its humors, and its passions. If 
England feel like one man, we think like one 
man ; and these wafts of intelligence foster an 
unconscious philosophy, kindle sympathy, and 
create amiability. We are always ready to make 
allowances. All life is brought before the forum 
of the brain, and even the passions are intellec- 
tualized. There is too much strain and hurry in 
our activity for much delay over culpability or 
outrage. We frown regret, and pass on. We 
are too much driven by the current of our life to 
even pause and feel very angry, and also we dis- 

like waste of power. To a purely intellectual 
being the display passion makes, even if it be 
that of a just indignation, is unseemly and 
offensive. We at last look at all things by the 
dry light of reason, till ardor or enthusiasm get 
to shew like loss of balance or intoxication ; or, 
alas ! a warm expression of personality may hint 
of Sonierville and the mad-house. A man's 


friends are timid and alarmed when dealing 
with originality. Instead of appreciating the 
strength and interest of an independent char- 
acter, like shepherds with crook and voice they 
try to get his head turned in the way of the rest 
of the flock. Hence the cold, questioning eye 
one meets in the street, which says, " Aren't 
you mad yet ? How dare you be so odd ! Fall 
into line." And so we fall into line, and regi- 
ment our thoughts into battalions and march 
with the rest. Where all are mad, a sane man 
seems the only madman. And so he apolo- 
gizes for his existence if at home, or expatri- 
ates himself to breathe a freer air. For there 
is no tyranny like the tyranny of no choice ; 
European preferences die out in an ungenial air, 
and our tyrannous climate makes us submissive. 
It early teaches us not to quarrel with the ele- 
ments, for they are our master. The winds 
which will be howling at all hours whip us into 
submission. The thermometer which hangs in 
sight before every house dictates to us the dress 
and duty of each day. The irresistible control 
of the skyey influences pass over us like some 
great plane, which brings all surfaces to the 
same level. Each salient point is whirled off 
as a shaving, and falls to the floor's level ; and 


there is a shame about the exhibition of weak- 
ness, and bad temper is a Aveakness. Rumor 
will soon fly with a noise of such an exhibition ; 
for, above all, we must be on our guard against 
Mrs. Grundy. All such foul linen as scolding or 
violence must be carefully washed at home. It 
does not pay to be any thing but what the pub- 
lic wants. They look upon you as their prop- 
erty, use you at their convenience, and like to 
see you strain in harness with the rest. A man 
does not stand for what he is, but what they 
value him at, and they take care to tell him so. 
They ignore what he modestly counts most 
precious in himself, and bid him wear the label 
of the virtues which they prefer. 

From all this we may readily guess that this 
sunshine, that this amiability of ours, is not 
without alloy. There is the gold of genuine 
kindness ; but, to give it currency, it is debased 
by something which is neither sunshine nor 
amiability, and this something is simply weak- 
ness. The way this good people allow them- 
selves to be imposed upon in so many ways is 
not through their willingness to oblige, but 
through their weakness. Politicians and rogues 
trade upon it, and even criminals find in it a 

haven of refuge. With the weakness there is a 


kind of bastard philosophy, which not only ad- 
mits that one man is as good as another, but 
adds, and perhaps one man may be as bad as 
another. This reluctance to condemn, the de- 
nial that an}^ crime is worthy of death, is a kind 
of democratic reverse of a formula with which 
our Constitution begins, and seems to say, " That 
is an aristocracy of righteousness which dares to 
rise above equals so as to smite them with its 
retribution." And these soft hearts are glad to 
point to the statistics which prove that capital 
punishment does not diminish crime. They 
would gladly see the murderer languish for 
years in a half-death within the prison's four 
walls, rather than push him at once before the 
all-merciful Judge, whose sentence may be less 
bitter. Their weak amiability disguises from 
them the atheism which denies to the criminal 
the rehabilitation which he can only get in 
another life. Society, too, condones crimes re- 
lating to money ; while it is unsparing for infi- 
delity to the marriage vow, duelling, or any 
form of oppression. For us, the sons of the 
Puritans, seem written the lines aimed at our 
Puritan fathers, 

" Compound for sins they are inclined to 
By damning those they have no mind to." 


Since imprisonment for debt as a law has 
been abrogated, there is a very easy virtue as to 
money obligations. A rogue leaves the country 
with the money confided to him, and jauntily 
asks the world for a " suspension of judgment.'* 
So, in the West, they call murdering a man in 
the street " a difficulty," to let down easily a 
familiar crime which they are inclined to. There 
is no truer dissolution of society than when it 
gets indifferent to the sanctity of contracts. It 
is then more or less an organized piracy, when 
honest and confiding men with all their prop- 
erty are made to walk the plank. Little by 
little, it is making integrity fight at a disad- 
vantage with roguery, and, as the descent to 
Avernus is easy, there are constantly more 
lapses from the ranks of those who were staunch 
to pecuniary obligations. 

On the esplanade, at St. Thomas, you could 
see, thirty years ago, comfortably promenading, 
pirates who had retired from business ; and to- 
day, in our streets, the men who do not take 
lives, but only fortunes from others, pass with a 
smile their victims, secure from even personal 
assault. One would have thought that in a 
wild, new country, when the law offered no 
redress to the victim, he would take the law into 


his own hands, and punish the pirate ; but no. 
His good-nature, and the good-nature of all, for- 
bid this. It is a business transaction, the 
luck of the weaker, and before what court 
shall the lamb bring such a wolf when even 
the juries' hearts lean to the aggressor ? These 
are not the days of violence, and pardon is the 
duty of the Christian merchant ; and so these 
wolves stalk abroad by daylight, and prowl in 
bands which they call " rings," and civilization 
includes in its improvements an organized and 
permitted brigandage. And this will go on, save 
when a spasm of retributive justice breaks the 
routine, till the nation puts more iron into its 
blood. A gallows conveniently placed at either 
end of Wall Street, with Policeman X for a 
Jack Ketch, might be useful. In every city the 
broker's board would be sure to hear of it, and 
act accordingly. Credit lives only by the faith 
man has in man, and credit is the life of trade. 
A certain per centum of rascality, and trade 
feels her wheels blocked ; for credit is dead, and 
she cannot move on. Business is America's life- 
blood. Kill that, and the nation perishes ; and 
how can such a consummation be reached more 

swiftly than by this indifference to loyalty and 
honor in business transactions ? Then our good- 


nature becomes a crime ; then, indeed, we know 
it is no longer good-nature, but the most danger- 
ous weakness. 

There is perhaps no other country where the 
citizens feel the government more their enemy 
than here. This suits us, and keeps up a chronic 
revolution which expresses itself every four 
years, not without animation. This hostility of 
one party to another makes the day of elec- 
tions a battle ; but it is a battle without blood- 
shed, and immediately after life runs in its usual 

This calm after a storm we glory in. No 
other country could achieve it. And this ab- 
sence of violence, this repression of bitterness, 
is not wholly owing to a political education or 
the habit of self-control. Then is American 
good-nature, to which it is chiefly owing, seen 
at its best and brightest. That is its hour of 
triumph. We cannot tell how much our good- 
nature owes to these hours of conflict, to which 
it rises superior. It grows with every trial ; 
and perhaps, among the many causes to which 
it is due, this national habit of unimpassioned 
surrender to the majesty of a majority is the 
most direct and important, as it is the occasion 
of its noblest expression. But, though the con- 


flict is soon over, and all confess Majority to be 
king, there is a sense of hostility which mut- 
ters like distant thunder in breasts which seem 
to be silent. Everywhere the winning politi- 
cian ; the abrogation of the old, the imposition 
of the new law, are looked at by half the na- 


tion as hostile and dangerous. It knows it is so 
looked upon, and is not unwilling to profit by 
its opportunity to press down its enemy. A 
spirit is engendered which is bad for all, the 
conqueror as well as the conquered, for they 
both suffer when the true interests of the na- 
tion are unheeded, or the council-chamber of a 
city erects itself into a little satrapy, above the 
praise or blame of even those who placed it 
there. It fosters that spirit of chronic revolu- 
tion which it would seem we cannot escape ; for 
every abuse of power is a prediction of its com- 
ing overthrow. But, ground between the wheels 
of the two opposing parties, how many delicate 
growths of culture, how many duties to cher- 
ish those tender germs which cannot attach to 
politics, are overthrown and perish ! 

Never was American good-nature seen to bet- 
ter advantage than after the Civil War. Not a 


rebel chief was shot, not a rebel soldier impris- 
oned, after the day of surrender. Scarcely were 


the weapons of conflict laid aside, when forgive 
and forget was in the heart of the Northern 
people. That the South should sulk and hold 
back was but too natural, as their cause was 
lost and their fields laid desolate. But rancor 
cannot live long in our sunshine ; and the hope- 
ful see a happy future for both North and South, 
more due to American amiability than any bills 
of reconciliation that could be passed. They 
have both enough to do to find a place for the 
negro which he can keep without the aid of a 
Northern bayonet. Every thing is adjusted in 
time ; and before long the negro will run with- 
out friction in the new groove, and both he and 
his former master will forget that it was ever 



And see our long patience with the shadowy 
substitute for coin ! Here, again, our good- 
natured endurance of a depreciated currency 
must be counted as a fault. While discussing 
bi-metalism, and trying to extract from rags the 
value it can never have, we see California's 
Pactolus pass by our door to enrich the treasu- 
ries of rival nations. There is a certain cousin- 
ship between the flaccid feebleness of paper 
money and the irresolute timidity which pro- 
tracts our suffering. As to the sick man the 


sturdy sirloin which health demands only nau- 
seates the sickly appetite, so Americans, used to 
paper, look at the solid metal with alarm. Over 
the horizon, from time to time, there -is a shine 
of yellow, as from a rising sun ; but it is not 
morning, and we must learn to wait. May the 
good time be not far distant when commerce and 
manufactures shall stand erect on their feet, and 
then, as the consummation and representative of 
that sounder life, may we all look with smiling 

" Where little eagles wave their wings in gold." 
Indeed, without our national amiability, our 
republic would be impossible. They mutually 
aid and nourish each other, and together make 
the most pleasing trait of the American charac- 
ter ; but we should guard against an excess even 
of the virtues. What is everybody's business is 
nobody's. And the want of the tonic of a cen- 
tral will in the States and Government but adds 
to our weakness. We long to see a hand which 
shall dare to launch the thunder against wicked- 
ness in high places. Where is the hero who 
shall overthrow the* selfish indolence of Wash- 
ington, which allows the money paid by foreign 
nations for American claims to never reach those 
to whom it belongs? Nulla vestigia retrorsum, as 


a motto, better becomes the regal lord of the 
desert than the free-born wanderer of our starry 

The dilemma into which our good-nature gets 
us has at times a grotesque absurdity. In the 
old days of the omnibus, the seats often would 
hold a double layer of passengers. Without 
asking your leave, a pursy woman would use 
you as an arm-chair, nor did you dare to remon- 

A delightful story is told of a dignitary of a 
neighboring university being " overlaid ' by a 
redundant personage, who eclipsed the daylight 
and made his knees like those of Belshazzar. 
Of course the ladies are asked first where they 
will go. Presently, to his surprise, the dignitary 
heard his own house given as the destination of 
his personal incumbent ; and then silently, he 
through the front and she through the side gate, 
each approached the house. The lady was the 
dignitary's own cook. 

In reading-rooms people lean on us to read 
the newspaper over our shoulder. Leave for 
five minutes a magazine in a car, and when you 
return it will have disappeared. Men with 
books and without books will cut from under 
you the best hour of the day, and feel hurt if 



you reserve the right of choosing your own 
channel of benevolence. There are societies 
which do good, and also organized shams ; and 
both prefer for their private use your first hour 
after breakfast. All these live upon the sup- 
posed inability of a man to say " No." Where 
an Englishman would thunder and lighten, 
grow red in the face, or write to the " Times," 
an American expectorates feebly and passes on. 

Our good-nature is also shown in our unwill- 
ingness to damn a bad play. The positive side 
is too weak to affirm an energetic opinion. The 
piece is withdrawn if the public do not like it. 
It may happen to be very bad indeed, and yet 
succeed, if good acting, or a caricature having a 
basis of truth, are to be found in it. 

In some circles, this want of spirit, of passion- 
ate personal judgment, gets the name of the 
Lively Negative. Fiction has taken hold of it ; 
for we cannot help thinking that, in Mr. James's 
novel of "The American," the unwillingness of 
the American hero to punish even a murderer is 
a happy stroke of truth disappointing the reader 
of the natural denouement of the story by mak- 
ing the hero act as most Americans would. 


The pendulum descends as far to one side as 
it mounts on the other ; and if we laugh at our- 


selves for the "defect of our quality," -a good- 
nature which resents nothing, we have abun- 
dant comfort in remembering that nowhere else 
in the world are the relations of man with man 
more easy and good-humored, without pride or 
reserve, as bright, gay, and universal, as is the 
American sunshine. 




T T 7E may take out of a man's life, a complete 
and rounded one of seventy years, the core 
or heart of it, say forty years, and call this 
fragment of time the active life-space of him 
and his contemporaries. We will not count the 
beginning and the end of his life outside these 
forty years ; for, besides the weakness and soli- 
tude which attach to life's extremities, they share 
very much the influences from generations pre- 
ceding and succeeding them. This manhood, 
thus taken en bloc, is one of many lives of peo- 
ple of about the same age, all over the world. 
These people are usually called contemporaries. 
We propose to speak of these contemporaries, 
shut up in their bounds of forty }^ears, as a unit. 
It seems fair to space off time into such units 
for many reasons, the chief of which is, that it 
-is a natural unit, a life-measure for the earth's 
inhabitants. It is one wave moving to eternity 
across the sea of time ; and, like a wave, though 
blending with those before and after, yet its 


form and towering crest are its own, and it 
has always been counted as one wave. And 
this ocean, where lives are waves, has not, his- 
torically, the space we usually suppose. Looking 
onward from where we are, we see no shore. 
All is obscure. Yet we dimly think we guess 
something of the movement and form of those 
waves of the future which shall pass beyond 
our own, and may haply hail some light-house 
of the skies that we wot not of. But, look- 
ing back to mark behind us the forward falling 
waves, as their musical crests break in the sun- 
light, we can notice through what long lines of 
foam, from what abysses of the past, they draw 
their present life of living spray. And how 
near is the horizon which bounds Time's ocean 
of the past ! beyond and farther than is earth's 
bounding horizon of the sea, something we may 
guess ef what is hidden ; but silence and an 
inexorable barrier defy our curiosity. To show 
how narrow is Time's sea to our poor human 
sight, let us notice and count these wave-crests 
as they have come to us from the past. 

The days when Christ was upon earth seem 
very remote ; and yet, between Him and us, 
we find but forty-seven of these life -spaces, 
these waves of contemporary being. Such an 


observation makes us suspect that the world's 
history is much simpler than we have thought. 
If we are old, even without being wise, we 
must have been unobservant indeed if we have 
failed to notice the progress of the world, 
the movement of thought, the material advance 
in our time. But our time is infinitely more 
complex than has been any other such life- 
space as we have imagined. The conditions 
even are changed. The whole earth begins to 
move forward as an army. Rank behind rank, 
we see them fall in and come. They are near- 
ing the light which is as the candle to man's 
moth-like brain ; and, let us hope, not to fall 
expiring with singed win-gs, and into an earthly 
candle, but that great eternal flame by which 
man's soul is nourished. Already is the march- 
ing near enough to feel the heat. It already 
fuses the metal from which ignorance and 
tyranny had wrought their chains. The old 
moulds of the gods melt and run down in 
shapeless ruin. And, by the new and auspi- 
cious light, we see these waves these armies 
of men trooping side by side, like children 
whose toys are laid aside, whose quarrels are 
forgotten, as towards a common Father. 
We have compared these life-spaces to waves 


moving horizontally, and we might compare them 
to the rounds of a ladder ascending upwards. 
If we could compare these periods, one with an- 
other, we should be struck with the fuller life, 
and increase of knowledge and skill in every 
direction now, in contrast with the limitations 
of human knowledge under a Roman emperor, 
for instance, at the beginning of our era. A per- 
spective of the world's history, thus shortened 
for the e}*e, would surprise by a diminishing at 
the farther end, not attributable to the common 
laws of perspective. There was a time when 
men were not inventive. There was a time 
when men thought little, or, if the}^ did, could 
not or dared not publish what they thought. 
There was a time when intercourse and jour- 
neys between nations were difficult and danger- 
ous. Then knowledge was possessed only by 
a few, a mental aristocracy, raised by study 
and contemplation above their fellows. Then an 
author could hardly be said to have a public, 
or to aim to express any belief of the people, 
or any desire of theirs for improvement. As 
long as war was uppermost in men's minds, 
there was small room for the fruits of peace to 
grow. All these limitations make the diminish- 
ing end of the perspective very narrow. 


And what a little world it was then ! a 
luminous track from Asian highlands, along 
which cities were sown, and from its western 
extremity, where it touched the sea, a fringe of 
light girdled the Mediterranean, contrasting 
with the surrounding darkness. Now the earth 
is furrowed with that mental brightness, and for 
the first time begins to know something of itself. 

Among the many passions of the present 
hour, there is no warmer one than that of geo- 
graphical discovery. We hunt and chase the 
unknown, as English squires do a fox. We are 
close upon the haunches of Africa, and soon 
will run her to earth. There seemed to be good 
game at the North, a teazing bait in the mys- 
terious Pole, but the scent proved too cold, 
and the sportsmen abandoned the chase. And if 
" Macedonia's madman " sighed after his Asiatic 
triumphs for new worlds to conquer, what shall 
the heroic Livingstones do when the entire globe 
has become their conquest ? Will it not be the 
end, and will not that time arrive when a con- 
temporaneous completion of all man's possible 
achievements here will imply the consummation 
of the purpose for which he was sent hither ? 
And how many does the reader suppose of these 
life-spaces of forty years will the world count 


between that consummation and the date of our 
era ? Though the life around us look indefi- 
nitely continuous, the end may be nearer than 
he thinks. Vires acquirit eundo is indeed true of 
the world. Something more than a geometrical 
proportion is the pace of thought now, compared 
with its uncertain steps in its childhood. 

This kindling, swift diffusion of knowledge is 
like a highland torch-race ; every beacon-hill is 
fired, and man's glowing mastery over matter, in 
its most spiritualized form, his telegraph and 
his telephone, almost look like a wall beyond 
which he cannot pass. But who can tell ? 
Though Mr. Proctor explain to us that a catas- 
trophe is always possible in the sun, and that 
then comes the end of all things, yet this old 
world has had many panics of this sort. Because 
of famine, religious excitement, or a something 
in the air we cannot estimate, these spasms of 
man's fear have again and again occurred. 

We are in a fair way now to another attack 
of this hysteria of the soul. At one end of the 
town, Mr. Cook, with mathematical exactitude, 
is throwing red-hot shot into the ice-forts of 
Unitarianism ; and at the other end, a. pair of 
evangelists are incessantly calling off the busi- 
ness world to the passionate possibility of losing 


its soul. There is just that something in the air 
which may make hysteria an epidemic. 

A few steps farther, and this world will re- 
cede, and heaven will seem opening to the view. 
A date from prophecy will be sought for to jus- 
tify the hope and the terror of the approaching 
consummation ; and then, in a few years, all this 
will be but as a tale that is told. 

Some thirty or forty years ago, Boston suffered 
from such an attack of hysteria. One Miller, a 
fanatic, managed to persuade himself that the 
end of the world was approaching. In the very 
unmathematical condition of mind produced by 
such a fear, many others, beside himself, were 
brought to believe that certain figures and 
tropes in the book of Revelations indicated the 
absolute date of the event. Where these be- 
lievers hid their faces and their disappointment, 
after the failure of his prophecy, we have never 
heard. Error, soaring to the sublime, often falls 
into the ludicrous. So was it then. These 
Millerites, as they were called, were said to have 
prepared ascension-robes, made long from feel- 
ings of delicacy, and built a tabernacle, to gather 
in upon the fatal day. 

From curiosity, I went to see it. I found 
before an unfinished and very unsubstantial 


structure a worthy carpenter, whom I knew 
well, looking up at it. " Are you, too, a be- 
liever ? " I said. " Well," he replied, " I think 
there must be some miracle in it ; for I built it, 
and they paid me so little that I think that it 
will be a real miracle if it don't come down 011 
their heads." The city authorities thought so 
too, and forbade the completion of the building. 
It stood precisely where now is the Howard 
Athenaeum Theatre, and I believe some of the 
timber was diverted to this unsanctified use. 

As we advance to manhood, we see about us 
our contemporaries doing the same. Some were 
our school-fellows and some our classmates. We 
knew them as bright and happy boys, their high- 
est achievement the robbing of a bird's nest or 
a successful recital, and yet with quick strides 
they were becoming men. A sense of alarm, a 
natural anxiety, comes over us. We remem- 
ber Julius Caesar and the prophets, and King 
Alfred and Charlemagne. Each of these had 
Atlantean shoulders to hold up a world. But 
alas ! for our poor contemporaries ! And then it 
flashes upon us, at first with a strange sinking of 
the heart, and then with a merry apprehension 
of how things really are. And is the whole life 
of the centuries, the care for the world's support 


and progress, to be given to Charley Watson and 
Harry Folger ? They were good at ball, and 
did not fib much ; but Harry knew a mean trick 
or two, and Charley at times was parsimonious 
and shabby. But so it is : the whole of the 
great concerns of a planet the responsibility 
of leading the ages, and transmitting not only 
unharmed, but ennobled, what the fathers have 
left us are to fall upon the shoulders of these 
school and college mates ; and throughout Chris- 
tendom it is the same. Sir Robert Peel played 
a good game at marbles, and rather liked Byron, 
his lively contemporary. Bismarck at the uni- 
versity was known by his big dog and the solid- 
ity of his walking-stick. Napoleon looked 
askance at the games of the other boys, and 
Pozzo di Borgo never got over his school impres- 
sion of him. And so each one in his turn is 
condemned to play the part of greatness, if the 
prizes of life fall to him. But, if we look be- 
hind the ermine of the judge, we. can see the 
timorous fag of forty years before. That gen- 
eral, who, on review days, is the centre of ad- 
miring eyes, was once fished, half-drowned, from 
the water by the plough-boy now standing in 
the ranks. That emotional divine, whose breath 
is omnipotent with condemnation or approval, 


was chiefly known at school for his indolence 


and enthusiasm for gingerbread. 

But these successful men fairly fill the place 
of their predecessors. The world looks on with 
the admiration that distance gives to their pros- 
perity. And it is only at times, over the social 
board, that the years will be stripped from these 
majestic figures, and the veterans again will be 
the boys they were. Then the sly tale, the merry 
memory, the joke that punctures the bladder 
of renown, restores to them the long-lost play- 
ground, and they will sadly feel that the boy's 
limitations and ignorance are more than com- 
pensated for by the freshness of feeling, the 
buoyancy of young desire, for which they would 
gladly exchange the weary elevation the world 
so much admires. 

The earth keeps a journal, and notes care- 
fully, with correct dates, each fresh acquisition 
it makes in knowledge. This line of conquest 
by man over his environment is a straight one. 
But there are fluctuations in human affairs diffi- 
cult to account for. The hour has its whim, its 
caprice, and is not merely the obedient slave of 
progress. This caprice and whim, united to the 
wisdom and knowledge which a given date 
stands for, constitute what is called the " char- 


acter " of an age ; and each epoch has its char- 
acter, and every thing is saturated by it, almost 
as if this abstraction were a living being. 

We say that a man represents his age, and if 
he be a clever one, he will show not only what 
the time knew, but how it felt, what it believed 
in, and each mood of changeful caprice. 

There is always a touch of madness in the 
world, which, if we cannot see it in the indi- 
vidual, the crowd expresses : semel insanivimus 
omnes. Of course, the crowd does not see it 
as madness, as each one in it considers himself 
sane ; and, among them, a free and sound man 
is lucky if he escape with only the title of 
eccentric. For there is the passion as well as 
the whim of the hour ; and that may carry men 
far, and distort a generation. And man, leaving 
his track in history, marks not only the sands of 
time with his footprint, but with every such con- 
vulsion and oscillation, as Finelli's Pompeiian 
casts retain each movement of the figures they 

Of course it is easy to see that, of these little 
blocks of time and spaces of forty years, the first 
half belongs to that part of a man's life when 
his nature receives enduring impressions. These, 
if he live long, he will carry to the new front of 


thought in the people before him. There he 
appears as a straggler, one who has failed like 
his fellows to join the great majority. His 
figure, his manners, his dress, so lately the best 
that man could do, look grotesque, abnormal, 
fossil. Children point at him, laugh, and run 
away. But they should be taught to make a 
better use of their opportunity than that. They 
should be told to look at him steadily, and to 
try to remember him, for the very sight of him 
explains an epoch. 

If clever children, themselves long-lived, had 
been made to see characteristic survivors of 
their generation, and told what they saw and 
knew of them, when old, and then had passed it 
on to another child, a hoary gossip might have 
been transmitted which would bring us face to 
face with the patriarchs. As it is, there are 
always pleasant stories afloat, piquant souvenirs 
of by-gone times and people, which we delight 
to hear. 

When last at Rome, once after dinner, I asked 
Cav. Visconti, the distinguished archaeologist, to 
tell me something, not in books, about the past. 
He laughed, and pondered, and ended by saying : 
" 1 am sure St. Paul had a big nose." "Why?" 
I asked. u Well, it has come down to us, trans- 


mitted from mouth to mouth, that, when the 
Apostle's head was struck off and brought to 
Nero, he exclaimed : ' By Jupiter, if I had known 
he had such a nose, I would not have done it ! 

There was an old lady in London lately, 
named Lady Cork. She always dressed in 
white, and looked like a fairy godmother. She 
had seen so much, so many shapes had passed 
before her, in life's magic lantern, that they got 
blended and confused : she would easily mistake 
a man for his great-grandfather, and startle 
him with a question strangely out of focus with 
the present. Rumor said of her that, in her 
childhood, she had known somebody who told 
her that she had known somebody else's father 
who knew King Richard III. Of course, Lady 
Cork considered Richard a much maligned in- 

An Englishman I met in Europe told me 
that, when a child or little boy, once in a London 
street, a gentleman stopped him to point out a 
venerable figure, unlike the others. He was 
tall and handsome, with a wig, cocked hat, 
breeches, and a sword by his side. " Remem- 
ber, little boy, that you have seen General Ogle- 
thorpe, the founder of Georgia." 

I myself, when a boy in the town of Milton, 


was stopped by a gentleman, and told to turn 
and see Aaron Burr ; I did so, and saw painfully 
ascending the hill a short, sad-looking, old man 
of a regular profile and antiquated dress. He 
supported himself, I think, with a gold-headed 

I also, as a child, saw another Revolutionary 
personage. There was target filing at Savin 
Hill, near Dorchester. The target was set up 
in the water, or on the edge of it ; and, for the 
first time, I enjoyed the delight of ricochetting 
balls. There I was presented to President John 
Adams. He, also, was not very tall, but plump ; 
and his face was so like his portrait by Gilbert 
Stuart, that, in memory, I see them confusedly 
as one. 

We will speak of a few details of this con- 
temporaneous life of man which have more or 
less importance. The habit induced by common 
manners, common tastes, and common beliefs, 
during an epoch, gives a special physiognomy to 
the time. Men get to look alike, because they 
think and live alike. People really come to 
resemble each other, and form a definite type 
for a period. Expression is moulded by the 
passions and the thoughts within ; and the 
same sympathy which makes a husband and 

12* R 


wife resemble each other acts on a generation. 
The children of mothers who have lived through 
days of revolution and terror differ from those 
born in quieter times. The influence of a court 
life will make a child courteous and graceful. 
A tyranny will stamp itself even on infant 
features ; and hours of anxiety will leave traces 
upon the young faces whose parents then suf- 
fered. Looking at portraits in a picture-gallery, 
we are struck with the general resemblance of 
those of the same time. All the women of Sir 
Peter Lely languish with the same sleepy eyes. 
The personages of Vandyke show a common 
dignity and grace. The Venetian nobles whom 
Titian painted have a simple grandeur of aspect 
which we seek vainly elsewhere. 

We even see that the men and women of our 
own time have something in common which we 
do not remark in their ancestors. This is espe- 
cially true in America, where a greater uniform- 
ity of interest and living gives an increased 
similarity of expression. But, in this resem- 
blance of persons during an epoch, there is an 
element which easily deceives us. The same 


dress and costume, the hair, or the wig worn in 
a certain way, alter men's looks even more than 
do the manners or the thought of an age. This 


is noticeable in actors who assume a part belong- 
ing to an era not their own. When this is 
ingeniously done, a play surpasses the best 
novel, describing the same time, for the eye is 
made to believe almost without the help of 
dialogue. And when the French give us a good 
historical play, even the student of the time 
represented can learn something from the car- 
riage and demeanor of their good actors. It is 
then we notice how the costume seems the 
natural clothing and expression for the lives 
which then were lived. 

In literature, this changing aspect is very ob- 
servable ; for not only do certain tastes and habits 
of thought go with certain dates, but fashion is 
added. The fashion of saying things, in prose 
or verse, is formed by imitation of successful au- 
thors. The more is their style moulded by the 
whim of the hour, the more is it successful then ; 
yet liable, in an equal degree, to be distasteful 
to the men who come after. And this is a 
reason why so many gay pinnaces and showy 
galle} r s lie stranded upon the shores of time, 
while the renowned and venerable frigates bear- 
ing names of enduring fame, still keep unharmed 
the mighty deep. There is scarcely any lure 
more potent than the lure of a great master of 


style. It dazzles and subdues, while insipid 
writers retire abashed ; and this is why old men 
who have surrendered the fashion of their dress, 
and something of their manners, to the coming 
time, will yet keep their allegiance to the favor- 
ite authors of their youth, and condemn as trivial 
and poor the new writer whose lure is to be a 
successful bait for the young generation. There 
is something which draws our pity as well as 
makes us smile in the vanishing worship of 
these veterans, of whose youth we have known 
so little. They flaunt the rags of sentiment, the 
false pearls of poetry, before our eyes, in deplor- 
able keeping with the grotesque suits they some- 
times wear. We all remember, moving about 
our streets, these sadly comic effigies of the past. 
We find it difficult to believe that it was once 
filled with such scarecrows. And, when we 
talk with them, we find it still more difficult to 
believe that their tawdry flowers of speech and 
antiquated politeness should ever have been 
taken seriously. But they probably know noth- 
ing of all this. These quaint survivals of the 
past glow for them with life's morning, and their 
very accent betrays the buoyant fervor of youth, 
as they recite the verses they have so long 
loved. Dr. Holmes, who touches every thing 


with such a wise humor, gives us the natural 
feelings of a boy, noticing one of these venera- 
ble anachronisms, in a poem, " The Last Leaf." 
And yet how hard it comes to us to believe 
that our thoughts, our dress, and manners shall 
soon become as antiquated as his. 

The vanity of old age, though natural per- 
haps, is amusing. That youth and beauty 
should be giddy seems proper and right ; but 
that so airy a sentiment -as vanity should attach 
to weakness and decrepitude is at first sur- 
prising. But these old men look askant at each 
other as do rival belles over their fans. Getting 
successfully to be old is sometimes the chief 
performance of a man's life. And stupid people 
have, of course, the best chance. 


" Which o'er-informs its tenement of clay " 

wears out the body as the sword does the scab- 
bard. But these dull brains leave the body's 
machinery to work at ease, without fever or 
disturbance. Old Father Cleveland, whom we 
all respected, had this vanity of old men. When 
asked if he was perfectly happy, being so well, 
he replied : " Yes, indeed ; but they tell me 
there is an old fellow down in New York, who 
is one hundred and five, and he makes me feel 


uncomfortable." The good man himself died 
within a month of being one hundred. It 
would seem as if the excitement of nearing and 
turning the centennial winning-post was too 
much for him. And missing this, he must have 
considered his life comparatively a failure. 

An amateur statistician, in England, has given 
himself the trouble to hunt up as far as he could 
the facts as to the authenticity of lives famously 
long, of the past and present time. He discov- 
ered, in every case accessible to him, that no 
life surpassed a hundred and five or six. The 
great age claimed for some individuals rested on 
a mistake. The parish register of birth was 
never forthcoming ; and senile vanity would 
slyly add a ten where there was no witness to 
expose the error. He found, I am sorry to say, 
that the object of Father Cleveland's emulation, 
an Englishman living in New York, was not 
really one hundred years old. This sceptic 
found the date of the old man's transfer as a 
soldier to a point in India, and his age then 
also : there was a mistake of about ten years. 

It reconciles better the young to die when 
they see very old men ; it is so evident that 
they have outlived, not only all enjoyment, 
but any real use of their faculties. There is 


nothing to tempt any desire for a protraction of 
years in which there is so little gain. Without 
sometimes such a spectacle, it might be hard 
to reconcile youthful manhood to death. Its 
bounding pulses find little to exchange with 
senility, in the contemplation of the dignity of 
years, or the gentle dismissal through impercep- 
tible degrees of withdrawal into the arms of 
Mother Earth. 

And yet one of the many objects of man's 
foolish longing and desire is that of protracted 
years. Lord Lytton is said to have had it ; and 
he has a novel, " A Strange Story," which turns 
upon the possible possession of it. Such people 
sigh when they hear of Cornaro, the Venetian, 
and the playful Lady Desmond, who, in the 
spirit of the King Charles II., whom she came 
to visit, on her way fell out of an apple-tree, at 
the age of one hundred and forty. But, most of 
all, these lovers of life are covetous of the good 
old days of the patriarchs : when they read of 
Abraham and Jacob, and, most of all, of Methu- 
selah, they wish they might have lived then. 

Modern Physiology and Science could tell 
them that such post obits were impossible : the 
machinery of man's frame could never have lasted 
so long. The Bible never mentions as miracu- 


lous the age of the patriarchs. The word year 
probably stood with the Jews for a division of 
our year ; or there were, as was natural with so 
uneducated a people, miscalculations concerning 
periods of time. 

The accident, if accident it be, which makes 
the earth's revolution on its axis small spaces of 
time, divided by darkness and light, that on the 
shortness of man's life, gives a man a measure 
both of time and space, which he cannot help 
applying to conditions too great for such a 
measure. Like an insect on a wheel, which 
must compute the revolution of its tire by what 
it can know of bigness, so man's brain shrinks 
appalled from spaces whose vastness crushes 

But time and space are nothing in themselves. 
Their vastness belongs to the eye of the specta- 
tor. We really cannot imagine a universe lim- 
ited either in time or space. In this boundless 
infinity, it is impossible to imagine any cen- 
tral point where is placed the throne of an 

omnipotent God. 

The grandest conceptions of Christian Di- 
vines are scarcely more reasonable than Homer's 
notion of the throne of Zeus, whence depend 
the golden chains to which our globe is fastened. 


Much easier is it to imagine the deity diffused 
through his works, present in the life of every 
plant and animal, and in whom man's soul 
moves and has its being. 

This is intelligible, so far as can be man's 
apprehension of what is so infinite ; but the 
heart of man cries out against it. It needs 
what it calls a personal God ; and this is easy 
to understand. For this world always offers a 
spectacle which explains it. Here crowds avail 
nothing. The SAveet or malignant forces of 
nature avail nothing. There is for evermore a 
majestic individuality and solitude for the race. 
Each one is alone, even in crowds, with no ques- 
tion to ask of them, or even of the dumb earth 
about him. But, for evermore, each in his soli- 
tude knows but himself and that other he cannot 
understand, but feels in his soul to exist. Ever 
are these awful interlocutors speaking to each 
other, God and the individual soul. There- 
fore, seeing His omnipotence, having faith in 
His love, he must give the something with 
which he converses a personality like his own. 
Never can man's conception of God escape 
anthropomorphitism ; for the whole universe can 
tell man no more of Him than he finds in his 
own soul. That has the same relation to the 


spiritual side of the common Father, that man's 
intelligence bears to the intelligent method of 
God's creation. Both mirror Him. Both show 
us to be His children. And, though the body 
perish and the intelligence note with interest 
these waves of being, these spaces of time which 
we have been considering, the soul looks clown 
upon it all from the infinity to which it belongs, 
that home of which neither space nor time is 
a part. 




TN the State of Virginia, not many miles from 
Fairfax Court House, there had been built 
one of those stately mansions which were then 
so numerous in that State. It spoke of that 
loyalty of which, afterwards, the dwellers in 
it grew ashamed. But the house would not 
change with them. One saw at a glance that 
its architecture was derived from an anti- 
type familiar to the English gentry of the days 
of Queen Anne. It was substantial, simple, and 
elegant, and rested upon broad blocks of stone 
which hinted at a spacious and useful cellarage. 
In these temperance days, people are not 
proud of their cellars ; no man stores in wood his 
Madeira, his claret, or his port ; but it is getting 
to be the way with the unbibulous moderns to 
purchase as occasion demands their wines of the 
nearest merchant or grocer. But those were 
roistering days which knew not those dreadful 
facts of the inner man that the microscope and 
science have disclosed. They thought less, and 


drank more. Not that this mansion was espe- 
cially renowned for hospitality. Stately dinners 
at stated times would be given to retain the 
family's position in the county ; but there was 
something too much of that Virginian hauteur 
which befriended the lofty eminence of Wash- 
ington, and fenced it from a too democratic 
approach. It was current in the county that 
the family of Maiiwaring valued themselves 
upon an English and aristocratic connection ; 
and they were proud to show proofs of it in 
certain dingy family portraits, embossed dishes 
of silver, wearing a complicated coat of arms, 
and antique pieces of furniture quite old enough 
to have dated from King James. 

The body of this fine old place breathed of 
English steadiness and conservative tranquil- 
lity ; but the out-houses, the veranda, the gar- 
den, betrayed that conjunction of America with 
Africa which generally marks the buildings of 
the South. The wooden pillars of the veranda 
did not quite match those of the portico. They 
stood awry, and betrayed fissures which prom- 
ised to widen. The out-houses tailed off in a 
decreasing line of mysterious boxes of wood, 
not always of the same color, and leading, by an 
irregular path, to the half-concealed huts of the 


In short, it was like many of the proud 
structures of which the James River and other 
favorite sites could boast ; and, in this tale, it is 
but thus sketched, for the reason of its connec- 
tion with a narrative with which it has little in 

Very often, the chief men of the House of 
Burgesses drew up near the front-door, or offi- 
cers of the royal army, among whom might have 
been seen the rosy face of General Braddock, 
and a young aid from the neighborhood of 
Mount Vernon, whose future promised some- 
thing of distinction. To such, when they came, 
those honors would be paid of the absence of 
which the lesser gentry of the neighborhood 
occasionally complained. 

After the preliminary glass of apple-toddy 
was despatched, and they remained to dinner, 
it would be composed perhaps of an aromatic 
and substantial wild-turkey from the neigh- 
boring woods. Succotash and Indian-corn kept 
company with their compatriot ; and if iron 
forks with but two prongs held the luscious 
morsels, no one was ashamed. Then a more 
mahogany glow would pass into the counte- 
nance of the valiant General, either reflected 
from the table whence the cloth had been 


withdrawn, or imparted by the mettlesome 
port which stood in bulky decanters not far 
from his right hand. And then the clear 
brown complexion of the aid showed no deeper 
tint than what the sun gave ; and, as his elder 
grew the more hilarious, the thoughtful silence 
of the younger man but more visibly deep- 

But when Lady Manwaring, as she was some- 
times called half mockingly, sailed into the low 
drawing-room, where, past the shining andirons 
of brass, a great wood-fire sent a sudden flicker 
across the broad panels of the room and its 
depending curves of carven garlands above it, 
the hostess was not long in wakening the slum- 
bering animation of her younger guest. She 
then with subdued ostentation pointed out the 
figures in the picture-frames, placing herself at 
times so as to give an opportunity for the 
observer to remark a resemblance between her 
and the least hideous but most ancient of the 
female heads, giving the names, the dates of 
birth and death of each, the young officer being 
visibly interested. 

For the miniatures, of which there were 
many, fair, pale women with pearls passing 
through their powdered hair, and their heads 


deliberately askew, their eyes sinking in slum- 
ber, or the valiant men in bag-wigs and queues 
which suggested the handle of a gridiron, while 
their braided breasts wore that fatal red which 
to the waggish gamin of our time hints of lob- 
sters, he did not much care. 

But when, after carefully passing a napkin 
over the antique cabinets, tables, and escritoires, 
she gave their history, a flash of delight sparkled 
in the quiet eye of the younger officer. He 
asked all about them, begging the privilege of 
opening and shutting the little drawers, and 
finally ending with the curiosity of youth by 
pushing about to try to detect if there were not 
a secret one. 

Thus, by ever so little, this great man missed 
a discovery which would have diverted the cur- 
rent of our tale. 

For fading through the long years, its modest 
splendor slowly changing with a nameless tar- 
nish, a degradation as much felt by those who 
lived there as visibly expressed in every line of 
the falling mansion, still, with sturdy pride, 
something of the old pretension remained. Lit- 
tle by little, the estate had been parcelled out to 
newcomers, to patch a rent in the year's income. 
The ragged garden had lost its sun-dial, its 


dove-cote, and half its palings. Not only was 
the sentiment of newness dead, but that of 
repair was following after it. 

But the cellar, as if blind, for want of light, 
to that ruin which the outside felt through all 
its stones, recklessly retained its hospitable 
completeness. Burgesses and royal officers no 
longer drank of its nectar ; but the Madeira 
and Port, gaining through the long years by 
which all else was losing, stimulated a rebel 
soldiery, welcomed by a host whose ancestors 
overhead seemed to stare out in reproving aston- 
ishment. At last, after a health to the Presi- 
dent of the new Confederacy of the South, there 
was such a breadth and ardor of sympathetic ad- 
hesion that the dinner became a debauch. While 
the prostrate wassailers on sofas and lounges 
were stertorous with oppressive sleep, a candle 
from which one of them had lit his cigar was 
carelessly overturned so near the window curtain 
that it burst into flame. Nor long was it before 
the roar and crackle of the fire had awakened 
the sleepers. The glare and confusion reached 
even the bedroom of their hosts, and, with a 
face like Lady Macbeth's, the last Lady Man- 
waring entered with a superfluous lit candle in 
her hand, and cried : 


"You tipsy fellows, you have set ray house 
on fire ; but I have no time to scold you. Fly 
before it is too late, and save my pictures and 

As he slowly rose from the floor, the least 
sober of the guests hiccoughed out, 

" Don't forget the cellar ; I will look after the 


Amid a circle of ragged negroes and their 
children, their faces turned to gold in the flam- 
ing light, the devoted mansion, unhelped by 
any show of a fire-engine, after consuming, 
perished where it stood. 

The property which had been saved was 
covered with sheets and blankets ; and a few of 
the honestest negroes were detailed as guards 
for it. Meanwhile, the succor and hospitality 
of neighbors were not wanting. The family 
were solicited, in spite of their haughty airs 
generally, to stay at more than one house. They 
selected a near one, to give the less trouble in 
the storage of the many articles which were 
saved from the fire. 

The tipsy soldier had been as good as his 
word, and, with the help of some of his compan- 
ions and a few negroes, had triumphantly borne 
out and placed under a tree, most of the wine- 
13 s 


boxes and a regiment of bottles which, in long 
file, were drawn up with the uniformity of 
soldiers. The safety of the silver was presided 
over by Mistress Man waring herself ; and, when 
she drove away to her friend's house, it was 
carefully placed in the carriage beside her. The 
old furniture was not so fortunate. Hoisted 
out upon the brawny shoulders of the soldiers 
and the stoutest negroes, it was got downstairs 
and out upon the lawn, in an almost dislocated 
state. While endeavoring to disguise the -ill- 
usage the favorite escritoire had received, by 
shutting the drawers which had burst open, 
and standing it squarely on its legs, one of the 
soldiers noticed a little door which opened into 
a concealed recess which he remembered had 
not been visible before. Half hanging from it 
was a packet carefully sealed, and tied with a 
string of faded red. It was long and narrow ; 
and, I am sorry to say that, in that moment of 
general demoralization, the half-tipsy soldier, 
supposing that its contents were possibly bank- 
bills, put it into his pocket. When in a safe 
place he examined it, to his disgust he found it 
to be nothing better than leaves of paper upon 
which were written, with an ink so pale, charac- 
ters of so antique a look, that he did not long 


puzzle himself with deciphering them. As pos- 
sible literature, of however unimportant or ab- 
normal character, it naturally gravitated to the 
North. Some Union soldier who by chance saw 
it exchanged a square of tobacco for the MSS., 
in the hope, as he had so few books, that the 
reading might enliven a lonely evening. Find- 
ing both the writing and dates of an ancient 
period, he brought it home with him and sub- 
mitted it to a member of the yill age's Historical 
Society, if we may name by so august a title a 
lawyer or two, and the clergyman of his parish, 
who met together, brought by their taste for 
ancient lore. Through their help, the little 
story the manuscript contained is here getting 
published, though with no better authenticity 
than its own internal evidence, and this not very 
praiseworthy explanation of how it came into 
the possession of its previous owner. 

The writing was evidently of about the begin- 
ning of the eighteenth century ; and the date of 
the following letter accords with that supposi- 
tion. Around the manuscript which in its 
general character resembled a journal, though 
no dates were given was rolled a letter of a 
different paper and of a writing unlike that of 
the manuscript. It seemed intended as an ex- 


planation, in some degree, of this strange nar- 
rative, and of how it came into the writer's 
possession : 

" THE PRIORY, 1709. 

On parting with my dear Isabel, I requested 
her to write to me when opportunity offered. 
The dear child gladly consented, feeling through 
this that our long friendship would but grow 
the closer. But neither of us apprehended the 
infrequency of the mails from so distant a sta- 
tion ; and the final impossibility of any such 
intercourse, when my dear Isabel with her father 
was wrecked upon that unknown island, thus 
transforming her letters into a journal. 

From a child, Isabel had been of a poetic and 
romantic character. Her imagination made her 
wish to see things wonderful and strange. In 
the verses she had shown me, her fancy took 
marvellous nights ; she was not contented with 
the beautiful country around her for her descrip- 
tions, unless she peopled them with sprites and 
fairies. She delighted to recite the most ex- 
aggerated portions of Master William Shake- 
spere's play, ' Midsummer Night's Dream ; ' and, 
of a truth, I think she would have preferred the 
Duke's court at Athens to the allurements 
offered by that of our good Queen Anne. I do 


not like to think her distempered ; but if her 
wits had suffered through the incidents of ship- 
wreck and the penury of comforts which fol- 
lowed it, I could gladly make allowance for 
unintentional untruth. 

But, loving my dear cousin so well, I have 
been careful to not submit her fair reputation to 
calumny by any publication, as she desires, of 
her story, or even permitting the reading of it 
by many. 

Isabel, after her return to England, was much 
tamed of her extravagance. No longer enthusi- 
astic or ardent, she buried herself mostly in the 
privacy of pensive thought. When I questioned 
her as to the details of her experience, she 
gave it in the fewest words, without color or 
emphasis. There seemed something which she 
disliked to reveal ; and, thinking this modest 
quietude might be owing to a painful remem- 
brance of the extravagancies she had written, 
I respected her silence, and but loved her the 
more for it. 

I have placed, with this letter of friendly ex- 
planation, her manuscript, for safe-keeping, in 
the little secret recess of her own writing-desk, 
which she said she rarely opened. I thought 
this best, as meaning that I too would withdraw 


from all complicity in a painful memory, silence 
about which her own brevity of speech had been 
for me an intelligent indication. If she should 
press the little spring and discover the manu- 
script, I know her delicate spirit well enough to 
feel assured that she would understand what I 
have done. 

As from the moment I dispossessed myself of 
this strange narrative, I forbore ever more to 
question her concerning it, all that she cares 
to conceal is now left to the solitude of her own 

I place this letter with the manuscript of 
my friend, for the purpose that if both should 
fall into unknown hands, and not those of my 
dear Isabel, I desire to give her reputation the 
authority of my name and with it an assurance 
to any who may chance to read it of her natural 
truthfulness and unblemished character with 
all who knew her well. 


" DEAR LADY BETTY, Our leave-taking, as 
you must remember, was painful to both of us. 
I was to lose my dearest friend, and could only 
add her loss to that of my native country. 
Those who were to be my fellow-passengers, all 


unknown to me, could not disturb the solitude 
of my grief. But you have a life abundantly 
filled, and its solicitations would mitigate while 
not effacing any memory of me. My comfort 
was in my dear father, who seemed happy to be 
once more at sea. He busied himself in prepa- 
rations for his duties at the distant station to 
which government had appointed him. He also 
relaxed himself from labor by perusing various 
books on natural history and the works of Mr. 
Locke. The happiest hour of my day was when 
he threw all these aside, and, if the weather per- 
mitted, walked with me, arm in arm, on the 
.deck for a full hour. His protection gave me 
confidence to observe a little more narrowly the 
few fellow-passengers who were with us. They 
all treated my father with a certain deference, 
as their station in life was almost universally 
inferior to his own. 

There were one or two East Indians with 
whom I established a certain intimacy. They 
had inhabited the part of the world we were 
going to, and, seated in the shadow of the main- 
sail, I listened eagerly to their strange stories of 
adventure, and the extraordinary creatures they 
had seen and shot. Among them was a young 
man who had formerly been a secretary to one 


of oiir colonial governors. His attentions and 
deference were not unacceptable, for he gave 
them usually a useful turn. He would find for 
me a place where the wind or the sun were 
least unpleasant ; he would bring me wraps and 
books from below ; and he even charged me to 
consider him attached to my service as a body 

Not that there was any thing of the menial 
about him. He was always gentlemanly, and 
even shy till I taught him confidence. But I 
protest, dear Lady Betty, that you will not im- 
agine there was any thing more than that two 
young people who, meeting by chance at sea, 
could for each other alleviate a little the annoy- 
ances of shipboard and the weariness of a long 


i/ O 

My father had brought with him from Bristol 
a negro slave to be a servant for both of us. 
His name was Congo, and he seemed pleased to 
think that our voyage would bring us nearer to 
his native land. At times, in his broken Eng- 
lish, he told me of .the great woods, the long 
grasses, and the tropical fruits he remembered. 
He tried to describe the frolics and chatter of 
the monkeys which were to be found not far 
from his native village. They would leap, he 


said, from tree to tree, hanging themselves by 
their tails, and one kind could dispense with any 
hold, and fly across with wings which they had. 
But he confessed to me that his approach was 
never sufficiently great for him to explain their 
manner of flight, and I concluded, somewhat re- 
luctantly, with the belief that what he had seen 
must have been a bird. 

It is not to find only what we leave at home 
that we travellers go so far and endure such dis- 
comfort. I am sure that before I return I shall 
have seen not only wonders in the deep, but 
those singular beings of which the books in my 
father's library have given accounts. And this 
monkey which could fly recalled to my mind 
what Richard Steele told me he had heard from 
a visitor to America. He reported that there 
were there many creatures different from those 
we know, even when they resemble them. And 
I remember he spoke of seeing squirrels which 
by the help of a membrane could, like the mon- 
key, fly from tree to tree. This set me to much 
thinking, and I conjectured how little as yet we 
understand our fellow-inhabitants of the globe ; 
and I thought also how narrow is the line which 
divides the orders of animals. If a quadruped 

can fly, what differences may I not yet expect to 


find between what I have been told exists, and 
beings which we would think impossible yet 
really are. And before long I was again to be 
reminded of this invasion by one creature of the 
rights and habits of another. The good ship 
' Monarch,' our captain told us, was a lucky 
vessel ; and so it proved. For ten days, the 
wind blew steadily in a direction favorable to us. 
I was rarely uncomfortable and never sea-sick. 
Already the air was warmer and the sea of a 
richer blue. I was one day at a little table on 
deck playing at chess with my father, while St. 
Glair, my young friend, overlooked my game, 
and secretly whispered his advice as to my 
moves. I was not impatient with him for doing 
it, as I knew my father's- skill was great enough 
to easily match both of ours. I suddenly heard 
an exclamation, and the passengers ran to the 
side of the vessel. With woman's curiosity, I 
followed them, and there, to my surprise, saw 
five or six small but beautiful fishes flying 
through the air as with a long bound, and then, 
after moistening their wings, immediately resume 
their flight. 

And as if wonders would never end, after sail- 
ing south several days more, I saw the strangest 
thing in the world. I am unwilling to write of 


it, as it seems, if I tell you what I saw, playing 
upon your credulity. But you must not believe 
your little Isabel shapes monsters from her 
heated fancy ; for indeed neither fancy nor im- 
agination had any thing to do with it. From 
what my father and the officers of the ship tell 
me, what we saw was as really miraculous as 
any real wonder of earth can be. My father 
tells me that such a creature as we saw is be- 
lieved to exist by the people of Norway, and 
that an ancient writer, Bishop Pantopedon, 
gives an account of it. While sailing over a 
windless sea, or rather with just breeze enough 
to fill our sails, we gently approached something 
unusual moving upon the water. Whatever it 
was, it seemed to take no notice of us ; but 
when we got within a quarter of a mile of it, we 
could see that it was a school of whales which 
at first we thought were playing with each 
other. But among them was something long 
and dark which, though slowly moving, we 
could perceive had an undulating motion. Pres- 
ently it showed itself to be an enormous snake ; 
for by a sudden movement it shot its head and 
some thirty feet of its body, directly into the 
air. Soon after its head and neck disappeared 
in the sea, and we saw it in the act of coiling 


itself round the body of one of the whales, 
which seemed inert and defenceless in that terri- 
ble embrace. But with the other whales there 
was great agitation ; they spouted the water 
and lashed the foam on all sides : but nothing 
could they do to make the monster relax his 
hold upon the whale which had been seized ; 
and very soon both whale and serpent disap- 
peared downward in the ocean, and as long as 
we looked never returned. One would think 
that there was such affliction as we feel for the 
loss of a friend among those which remained of 
the school of whales. Their grief and conster- 
nation was very intelligible, and they stayed, 
moving about the spot whence their friend had 
disappeared, as if in the hope of his return. But 
when they found their expectation was vain, 
huddling together, as if in terror, they swam 
directly north till they disappeared behind the 

I tell my incredible tale in as few words as I 
can, for I conjecture you will give little heed to 
it. What does not make naturally a part of our 
mind and its beliefs is soon dismissed as an 
unwelcome stranger. And if I can fix your 
interest upon my narrative by such events as 
this, why should I weary you, as I myself was 


wearied, with the penetrating monotony of so 
many of our blank days. To watch the long 
leagues of floating grass which is always sta- 
tionary here, as the sailors tell me, as if detained 
by the eddy of sea-currents, just as in a brook- 
let you may see straws immovable or circling 
in an eddy outside the stream ; to watch the 
sharks who would follow us like so many evil 
spirits ; or, as we came nearer the Cape of Good 
Hope, to discern a speck in the sky which com- 
ing nearer and nearer showed us a huge bird 
with expanded wings which the sailors called 
an albatross, all this, and more of the like 
which I could tell you, would be for your curi- 
osity but insipid fare after the combat of mon- 
sters I have narrated. 

The ' Monarch ' put into the little town's harbor 
at the Cape, for stores and water, and my father 
and I profited by our week's detention to make 
an excursion into the country. We there be- 
held creatures of which I had heard, but never 
before seen, when we encountered a party of 
hunters returning southward from a successful 
excursion. We saw the skins of what had been 
once four majestic lions, and even this covering 
inspired terror. There is something in the set- 
ting of the eyes, the broad and powerful nose, 


and the look of strength without meanness or 
cruelty which the mouth has, which made me 
wonder little that it is called the king of ani- 
mals. There was a camelopard, which I should 
have thought impossible if I had not seen it. 
It seemed to slide from its timid-looking head 
and incredibly long neck, down past its sloping 
back and slender haunches, as I have seen no 
other animal. 

But what interested me most which the hun- 
ters brought with them were a few negroes 
and their children. They were as much below 


Congo in good looks and intelligence, as, I may 
say, if you excuse the expression, he is to 
ourselves. Their hair was not like Congo's, 
but more like the feathers of a bird : each hair 
is flat, not round, and grows in a great mop 
over their dull faces. They were quite short, 
and their arms were so long that, while looking 
at them, I could not help thinking of some gib- 
bons I once saw in Kew Gardens. 

After leaving the little town, we were un- 
usually fortunate in our weather, as there, they 
tell me, storms prevail very commonly. Not 
only the weather. was mild, but the wind was 
favorable ; and, until we entered that fatal 
Indian Ocean, both sky and sea gave us little cause 


of complaint. We were hastening to the end of 
our long and not uneventful voyage, and for this 
reason I began to love the ship more than ever. 
I felt an unwillingness, hard to explain, to change 
our little round of daily life for new scenes and 
a country I had never visited. But my father, 
to whom a voyage is an old story, was braced 
to a new activity among his papers ; and I could 
discern, by his alertness in walking, that he would 
not be unhappy to enjoy a more extended prome- 
nade. And my pleasant friend St. Clair also was 
changed. An expression of anxiety came into 
his handsome face which I had not seen before. 
Though, during our long voyage, I had felt 
his kindness more and more, till our intimacy 
grew into a habit, and we were to each other 
for the time as brother and sister, he now ap- 
proached me with a coldness I could not fail to 
observe. He would be as obliging as ever to 
attend to my slightest wish ; but there was a 
constraint in his manner of doing it, and no 
longer, as before, a bright smile accompanied 
each act. He was preoccupied and absent ; and, 
without imputing to myself vanity, I could 
but suppose he regretted the approaching day of 
our separation. There would be a void in his 
life, and he felt it, as I supposed ; but, dear 


Lady Betty, I was not prepared for the kind of 
interest with which it appears I had inspired 

"We were sailing on a moonlight night within 
sight of the mountains of Madagascar when 
after quizzing him upon his indifference and 
coldness, he told me all. With no intention on 
his part, our simple and natural relations were 
sowing the seeds of a regard for me, of which, 
while I was unconscious, he himself had not 
known the strength, till the pain of separation 
startled him with its proximity. As he told me 
of his feelings, I could see that he also was sur- 
prised at the violence of the passion of which 
they spoke : yet there was so much humility in 
his earnestness that I could not chide him ; but, 
while I forbore this, I instinctively knew how 
to make his distress more brief by an explicit 
explanation of the impossibility of his suit. I 
besought him to. try and forget it, or to think of 
it only as a dream. His humility and absence 
of self-importance assisted me in this : I think he 
really felt that I was by nature beyond his reach. 
And so presently, though, as I could see, not 
without controlled anguish, he tried to resume 
the friendly intimacy, the brotherly solicitude, 
which had been my happy portion till now. 


My dear friend, you will readily suppose that 
it was not without self-reproach and tears, of 
which I feared the morning might show traces, 
that I condemned myself for an affability and 
too great friendship which I should have known 
would never suffice with what I remember I 
have heard you call one of the encroaching sex. 

Our excess of fine weather we paid for very 
shortly by a terrible change. We had got about 
midway over the Indian Ocean when most un- 
expectedly one of the terrible storms of that 
climate broke upon us. All was confusion in a 
moment ; the sails broke from their lashings, spars 
were snapped, and the cry of the sailors as they 
pulled at the ropes was heard above the storm. 
It passed away as suddenly as it came. Our 
captain cheered us with the good news that there 
was no leak and that the injury incurred could 
be sufficiently repaired. We all came again on 
deck as the sun recovered his kingdom which 
the powers of the air had usurped, and congratu- 
lations and smiles took the place of despondency. 
But our joy was of short duration ; for it was 
discovered that the violence of the shock had 
parted the rudder-bands and that the vessel's 
power of steering had gone. Efforts were made, 
I believe, to replace the rudder and secure it by 



ropes and chains, but the success was only par- 
tial. We drifted under easy sail on a smooth 
sea, which the chart, an imperfect one, showed 
to have no land nearer than many hundred 
miles. After the agitation and fright the storm 
caused us, we slept soundly till the morning 
broke. I heard then voices giving orders and a 
trampling of feet, but nothing which I thought 
alarming. Wakening my father, after dressing 
I went on deck, and was fixed silent with sur- 

Very near us was land. I could behold lofty 
trees, surmounting ranges of cliffs and great 
hollows through which the eye pierced to gentle 
vallej-s of tender green enamelled with flowers. 
But turning a face of inquiry to the captain, I 
was struck with his expression of despondency 
and mortification. 

4 How beautiful it all is ! ' he said, ' and 
what a lovely sunrise ! Do you notice how 
well the ship sails ? ' 

Observing by the land our position, and hear- 
ing no sound of waves as they passed us, I found 
that we were perfectly immovable and still. 
4 Our brave ship " Monarch," continued the 
captain, ' is expiating her good fortune ; we are 
fast upon the reefs of that beautiful island, 


which I find not marked upon any of the three 
charts which I have examined.' 

I saw by his face that he thought there was 
no danger for our lives, and that he waited so 
patiently in the hope that the tide might float 
the ship, the wind change in our favor, or that 
the sweeps which he was then essaying might 
free us from our dilemma. 

Hours passed, and there was no change, save 
one that was ominous. There was a look in the 
sky, as the officers told us, which boded no good ; 
and as the vessel might break up with the re- 
turn of the tempest, and as evening was coming 
on, reluctantly the captain ordered the boats to 
be manned, and every thing got ready for a 
night upon shore. 

It was decided, however, finally that my 
father and myself and a few others should go 
under charge of the mate, while the rest re- 
mained in the vessel, trusting that the fair 
weather might continue. We took a few gar- 
ments, a tool-chest, and a barrel of flour, and 
a small parcel of jerked beef ; for there was room 
in the boat for no more. The captain thought 
it his duty, as did his officers, to keep by the 
vessel, at least till there were further signs of 
danger. The passengers were few, and felt such 


reliance upon the captain, they preferred to risk 
remaining rather than meet the chances of a 
land, of which they knew nothing. 

The passage in our boat to the shore was most 
easy ; we found the beach accessible, and of 
snowy whiteness ; beyond it were low cliffs 
overrun with vines, and scooped here and there 
into natural caverns. Into one of these we at 
once entered, and placed there our stores ; then, 
returning to the boat, William Cudworth, the 
mate, exclaimed, ' Oh, we have forgotten the 
guns, and the flint and tinder ! I will go fetch 
them.' Before very long, he had returned with 
the boat so deeply laden, he alone being in it, 
that I was surprised. He confided to me 
afterwards that he did not share the captain's 
confidence in the hope of continuing good 
weather. He had therefore, without difficulty, 
been allowed, on the plea of my father's 
comfort and my own, to bring as many useful 
articles as the captain cared to spare. How 
useful they were to be, I could not then guess ; 
but Cudworth had been shipwrecked himself, 
and knew the things necessary to take. 

As darkness came on, to my surprise I saw a 
lantern shining brightly in the archway of the 
cave's entrance. The bedding necessary for my 


father and myself was placed, so that no damp- 
ness would strike through us from the ground. 
Indeed the warmth of the climate made the 
lightest clothing most suitable, as it also kept 
the surface of the ground so dry that I had no 
fear that my father would suffer from any return 
of his lumbago. 

The boat was drawn from the water by the 
assistance of all ; for to encourage the men, and 
make light of our situation, I pretended to pull 
with the rest. 

We all slept well after our fatigue. The gen- 
tlemen of the party, the next day manifested a 
desire to see something of their island, to find if 
it might profit us by its products, or held any 
animals which might be dangerous. The mate 
urged them to go, taking the precaution to have 
their arms with them, and not to venture into 
dark places or thickets. He proposed to stay 
behind with me, taking note of the condition of 
the ' Monarch,' and meanwhile trying to make 
our cave more habitable. 

The first thing he did was to cut down sev- 
eral trees of moderate size, which he lashed to- 
gether at the ends ; and conveying these from the 
topmost trunk by a stout rope above the top of 
the cave, he fastened it to a thick tree which 


grew just behind. He called this his portcullis, 
and said it was to be let down at night by 
loosening the rope, and thus, as it extended 
nearly to the top of the cave's entrance, it would 
be a secure barrier against any wild beast or 


4 1 do not know if there are any,' he said to 
me ; ' but I think none are enterprising enough 
to try and leap over it. Should they do so, I 
will add more logs, and try to enlarge that fis- 
sure in the ceiling of the cave, through which 
you can see quite a piece of blue sky.' 

Having done this very expertly, he had time 
to fashion a rude table sufficient for our need, 
but which, he said, should be superseded if he 
had the luck to discover a jak tree on the 

For my part, I busied myself with arranging 
things as best I could. To my surprise, the 
mate presented me with several of my father's 
books, and I was fortunate enough to have among 
them some which related to the Natural History 
of the tropics. The information was scanty, 
but it might be of use, situated as we were. I 
busied myself then about breakfast, which we 
had agreed to postpone till noon ; and my skill 
was so little, and our means so limited, that I 


was quite discouraged. I was just hoping the 
salt-beef was getting tender in the boiling water, 
when I suddenly heard an exclamation. I in- 
stantly ran out, and found our friends returned 
and not far distant. There was a merry peal of 
laughter ; and one held up for me to see a couple 
of hares, while the other was so encumbered 
with an armful of fruits that he could only dis- 
play them by a rocking motion which made me 
laugh as well as the rest. 

'Quick!' I said, 'and prepare for me a hare, 
or our breakfast will be behindhand.' It was 
soon done ; and the office of cooking it fell into 
better hands than mine. The mate was always 
going to a little recess in the cavern over which 
a sail was spread, and taking from under it 
utensils and dishes just as they were wanted. 
I got to believe that, like strollers I have seen, 
he could draw from his storehouse any thing if 
he wished it. But he whispered to me it was 
not so ; that his kitchen was not complete, and 
that he must venture again to the ship for more 

Our breakfast was of good augury: for we 
were all made cheerful by the confidence that 
our island was stocked with abundance of game 
and fruits ; and we could see from the strand 


that there were fishes of some size moving 

' Captain Manwaring,' said the mate to my 
father, 4 you have now an opportunity for add- 
ing to your knowledge of Natural History ; for 
I see by the books I have brought, and which 
your daughter has so prettily arranged there with 
flowers on each side of them in the little niche 
in the rock yonder that you are a student of 
such things.' 

'Yes, Cudworth,' merrily returned my father, 
' I can give you the scientific explanation per- 
haps ; but you, I know, are already learned by 
experience in these torrid regions. I, by seniority 
and position, if it please you all, will appoint 
myself captain of our little party; but. I make 
you my first lieutenant, and rely upon it that 
most of the work shall be yours.' 

There was a general assent to this, and then 
we all went down to the shore to see the mate 
depart in his boat. The sea was still calm, 
but at times irregular puffs blew across it ; and 
we noticed that the ' Monarch ' was loosening 
her sails as the wind came from the land, in the 
hope of disengaging the ship from the reef. The 
sky was blue, but not clear: it had a troubled 
look, like a face out of which all the bad temper 


had not gone. I felt an anxiety I could not 
explain, and I urged Mr. Cudworth to press the 
captain and passengers to join us. 

4 Tell them how comfortable we are ; and, if 
they are not obstinate, I shall see you return 
with them.' 

We saw the dingy arrive, and a rope, which was 
passed over the stern and was fastened to it, 
and up which the mate sprang like a cat. But 
it was long ere he returned, and then so slowly 
that I knew he must almost have stripped the 
galley to get more material for his storehouse. 
He said the officers remained confident that 
with the freshening shore-wind, and the rising 
tide, the ; Monarch '-would be soon afloat; the 
captain had promised him that, if he was so for- 
tunate, he would anchor in deeper water, and 
fire a gun for us to learn the good news, as a 
signal for our return. 

Night drew on, and while the second hare 
turned on its spit, the mate gave the name of 
the various beautiful fruits which my father held 
up, telling him which was the most palatable, 
and rejecting those either unsavory or poisonous. 
There had been time for several little cakes to 
be made of flour, sweetened with the juice of 

the cocoanut : this gave a superiority to the 


dinner over the breakfast which well became so 
important a repast. 

With a tAvinkling eye, as a conjurer will draw 
something out of vacancy, so the mate drew fur- 
tively from under the table-cloth a sound bottle 
of wine, upon seeing which, my father's eyes 
sparkled, and he said, ' I see, lieutenant, that you 
mean that now I should drink your health in a 
glass of old Canary.' 

So saying, the cork being drawn, a little wine 
was poured into each glass, and my father rising 
said, i To the health and happiness of Lieuten- 
ant Cud worth and that of all our party, and to 
our future good fortune in the beautiful island 
of Fortuna. As it is on no chart, I venture to 
christen it so, if none of you object.' 

This set us in a merry pin, and for a half- 
hour we almost forgot our brave 4 Monarch ' and 
our absent friends. 

If I may judge by sounds I heard, there was 

good sleeping in our cave that night ; but for 

.myself I could not close my eyes for thinking 

of the painful intimation I had received from 

the look of the weather. Nor was it lono- after 


midnight before a sound, which I at first thought 
was the ringing in my ears, steadily increased 
till it became a tumult of noise. The heaven 


seemed to open and show us its burning depths 
bej^ond. Fire fell through the sky like a cata- 
ract, which the sea extinguished. The forest 
behind us, for the wind still came from the land, 
moaned like a creature in pain. Mixed with 
the hissing of the rain and the roll of thunder 
was the crash of falling trees. They were borne 
through the air, and the cliff under which we 
were sheltered resounded with the shock. At 
times the cry of a wild animal, shrill with fear, 
rose above the tumult ; and, as the lightning 
flashed, we could see the darkness white with 
the wings of birds, which, like leaves, the tem- 
pest drove out to sea. 

When the lightning glared, we turned our 
eyes toward the ship, and to our delight saw she 
was still there. All were afoot and ready for 
the worst, for the day of doom seemed at hand ; 
and vet it was almost still where we were. But 


if any ventured, as they did, to go beyond the 
circle of calm the beetling precipice made for us, 
with difficulty could they retain their footing. 

Fortunately, the storm passed away as speed- 
ily as it came. The mate said that in those seas 
storms would recur after short intervals, the 
wind blowing in a circle, and that it was his 
presentiment of this return that had made him 


so anxious for the captain and passengers to 
come on shore with him. 

The stillness was so deep after the tempest's 
departure, that our sleep was profound. But 
the sun in those latitudes is imperative, and for- 
bids that longer rest in which elsewhere we 
should have indulged, while the anxiety for the 
fate of the 4 Monarch,' which went to bed with 
us, again was felt as our eyes opened. We in- 
stinctively ran to the water's edge and gazed. 
Where the good ship had been was a blank 
only. There were no wreck or floating spars, so 
that our sadness was mitigated by hope. ' She 
had been driven before the gale,' said the mate, 
' and if not too much injured by the rocks, she 
can keep the sea ; and in good time, I trust, we 
may see something of her again.' 

Half-assured by the mate's comforting belief, 
we set about the labors of the day, and found 
in occupation a relief to painful presages. We 
advised Cud worth to take Congo with him and 
explore the island, knowing that the familiarity 
of both with these regions would be more prof- 
itable than any search by all the rest could be 
without it. So having instructed those of us 
who remained as to little matters we could ac- 
complish, taking each a gun, they both departed. 


Having leisure on our hands, my father took 
me a short excursion along the shore. We had 
not gone very far before we noticed a fringe of 
cocoanut palm-trees, which my father conject- 
ured perhaps encircled the whole island. He 
said it was often so, the sea-air being favorable 
to their growth. They leaned over the water in 
groups of two and three, sometimes very prettily ; 
many of the nuts were floating on the water, torn 
off by last night's wind, and caught in shallows 
or stopped by the outlying reef. Many trees were 
prostrate, and we thought that, sad as it was, the 
wood of these and that of many other uprooted 
trees might be made serviceable to us. 

There were other caverns and hollows in the 
cliff like our own ; and the convolvulus hung on 
high in graceful festoons, its flowers made bright 
by contrast with the darkness of these natural 
arches. I gathered many flowers, of great 
beauty but little scent, which were new to me. 
There were orchids in abundance, however, 
which I did recognize ; and once, as we 
passed a narrow valley, I saw, disturbed by 
our presence, a wild pig dash from thicket to 
thicket. By the shore, we found several dead 
fishes of extraordinary forms and variegated col- 
ors which the storm had killed and the return- 


ing tide had washed on the beach. We did not 
venture, as my father had taken no gun, into 
the interior: but our walk was sufficiently beau- 
tiful, as it was ; and by the end of an hour we 
had returned to our cave, not wishing to make 


the others anxious for our safety. My father 
rested himself upon the broad roots of a huge 
tree not far from our cave, and read aloud to 
me from one of his books interesting relations 
of tropical scenery and its inhabitants. We vis- 
ited the second cavern to make sure that the 
rest of our party was comfortable, and to hear 
with what patience they had endured the terri- 
ble night. We promised them a fair portion 
from our stores, and that they should have their 
full share in what we possessed. 

An outcry, which I recognized as coming from 
Congo, soon brought us back, and, making a 
circle, seated upon the grass, we listened to the 
story of the returned explorers. 

Familiar with tropical wildness, and un- 
daunted by danger, the mate and Congo had 
penetrated far inland, till arrested by the per- 
pendicular rocks of a lofty mountain, whose 
sides were clothed in verdure. Mr. Cud worth 
had seen many things of much import to us, in 
the way of wild animals and fruits. He had 


descried in dark relief against the sky, from the 
jutting mountain, the figure of an elk, indeed 
quite a flock of them. He had noticed low 
grounds where the tamarind was growing, and 
felt the full value of the discovery. He had 
beheld birds which looked fit for eating, and 
indeed had brought home several. They were 
of the size and somewhat the look of a par- 
tridge, each with a rosy tuft on its head. 
And, as he handed me these, he drew from his 
ample pocket a fine pineapple and one or two 
plantains, assuring me that where these came 
from there were plenty more to be found. He 
said he had hopes also of discovering bananas, 
as they were often found with the plantain ; and 
that wild rice might be met with, perhaps, in the 
more marshy places. 

When with pride I told him of my excursion, 
and the glimpse I had had of the wild boar, he 
said it was really good news ; for the animal, 
if properly cooked, was very palatable. But 
he had reserved for the last his greatest sur- 

Upon a shoulder of the mountain, or rather a 
high plateau beneath it, he found lofty trees 
growing, whose stems soared without a branch 
to a considerable height. Where the branches 


forked, some forty feet from the ground, there 
were huts constructed of wood in a rude man- 
ner, and covered with leaves. Before each hut 
was a platform. A number of these huts con- 
stituted a village. But who or what the inhab- 
itants might be he could not imagine. He 
noticed that from each hut depended a ladder of 
vines, something like a knotted rope. He es- 
sayed by pulling the strength of one of these, 
and even thought of trying to ascend by its help 
to the hut above, to find if or no it were 
empty ; but he thought it imprudent, and won- 
dering all the while, for he had never seen any 
thing like it before in his voyages, he slowly 
withdrew. He had not proceeded far, when, 

hearing a noise, he turned his head and stood 


rooted to the ground in astonishment. The 
whole village was suddenly alive, and almost 
every platform before each hut occupied by a 
figure unlike any thing he had before seen. He 
said to himself: 'These creatures must be mon- 
keys, but never before have I seen any so human 
in their appearance.' 

They were but slightly covered with hair, 
and their skin was not browner than his own. 
Their faces had little of the malicious ugliness 
of the ordinary monkey, but wore an expression 


of dignity and intelligence. Their hair, as is 
the case with certain other kinds of monkeys, 
flowed from the crown, and fell in curls, not 
without grace, upon their shoulders. The fe- 
male monkeys mostly remained inside the huts ; 
but, excited by the universal movement, some 
came to the platform with their young upon 
their backs, and he saw that their hair was 
much longer than that of the males. Both 
sexes seemed to be sensible to the pleasure of 
ornament ; for necklaces and bracelets, appar- 
ently formed from sea-shells, hung upon them. 
Some wore bright leaves, and others flowers of 
gaudy color in the hair. 

All these villagers, as the mate could not help 
calling them, were in great excitement. They 
gesticulated plentifully, and chattered, not with 
the usual shrill cry of the ape, but with sounds 
of variable accent, expressive of the emotion 
which they felt. That emotion was unbounded 
astonishment, not unmixed with fear, at the 
sight of creatures so much resembling, and yet 
so different from, themselves. The forest rang 
with the noise of their conversation ; for each 
one seemed anxious, either to question or ex- 
plain the meaning of this wonder. Some in 

their excitement, like sailors, nimbly ran down 
14* u 


the cordage of their airy habitation, and seizing 
each a staff advanced timidly towards the mate 
and Congo. But, at the distance of not many 
yards, they stopped and looked at the strangers 
most inquiringly. They made friendly gestures, 
and each one sought to encourage the other to 
advance. Seeing this, the mate and Congo 
proceeded together, with smiles on their faces, 
holding out some of the fruit they had gathered. 
This, after some delays and a visible look of 
timidity, was accepted and eaten. Some of the 
creatures then disappeared, but swiftly returned, 
bringing, as if in exchange, fruits of their own. 
These which Cudworth recognized he partook 
of in sign of good-will, which so emboldened 
the animals that they came up with confidence, 
and, expressing in their faces a curiosity like 
children, passed their hands over the persons of 
their visitors. They felt the buttons of their 
coats, the leather strap of their powder-horn, 
and at length rashly extended their hands to 
the guns. These, with a smile, were put out 
of their reach ; though, as Cudworth explained, 
he was sorely tempted to enjoy the astonishment 
which would be produced by a discharge, he 
forbore, fearing the rupture of an intercourse 
he desired to continue. 


After tliis, with many salutations, which were 
returned, the mate and Congo waved their hats 
to the distant colony, which was replied to by a 
salvo of uproar and good-natured sounds which 
he thought might stand for 'good-by.' Then 
accompanied by a few of these creatures, and 
with a wave of his hand, pointing to their leafy 
village, indicating his desire for their return to 
it, they began their home journey. 

Deskous as I had always been of seeing the 
wonders of creation, I confess the mate's nar- 
rative filled me with surprise. I suspected him a 
little of a wish to entertain us at the expense of 
the simple truth ; but my father did not think 
so, and amused the circle with facts concerning 
monkeys which he had heard in his travels, or 
obtained from his books. 

Of a kind of monkey called the Papion, he 
spoke in a way which made them nearly related 
to the creatures the mate had beheld. The 
Papions rob gardens, collect in bands, and then 
form a chain from the vineyard to the nearest 
mountain. Those in the vineyard pass the 
fruits by the line to the place of meeting. To 
escape the vengeance of the proprietor, they 
place sentinels, who, hearing any noise, give a 
cry of alarm. They then all fly and disappear. 


If any monkey is caught, it is said the sentinels 
are put to death by the band. This explains 
the howls the colonists hear sometimes when the 
band has got back to the mountain. And if the 
place whence the cry comes is visited, the dead 
bodies of several monkeys are found torn in 

And of a more common monkey, the gibbon, 
he reported that it has a cry like a child, and is 
the only animal which, like a child, trembles 
with joy or spite according as one gives or re- 
fuses what it desires. Their natural disposition 
is very affectionate ; they kiss persons whom 
they love with surprising transports. 

My father had heard of the Kahau, whose 
brain closely resembles that of man ; and who 
has a long and slightly curved nose, giving him 
the profile of a human being ; and of the Manga- 
bey he said, they could dance on the tight-rope 
with a balancing pole, and hold a book, which 
they will place on a table, and turn over the 
leaves as if disgusted with its contents, and it is 
reported of the Alonate that, when wounded, it 
receives succor from the rest of the troop, who 
chew leaves, and make a poultice which they 
apply to the wound. 

My father said he remembered these particulars, 


mostly got in conversation with natives of the 
islands of the East, because he had always been 
struck with a similarity which the tribe of 
apes bore to man, possessed by no other animal. 
But though the foregoing particulars brought 
these creatures nearer to us, still, their brain 
has an incapacity for progress, or they would 
heretofore have approached us more nearly. He 
was attentive to watch if, hidden somewhere in 
the great Oriental Archipelago, there might not 
be found creatures who had made that stride 
towards humanity which might suggest a new 
explanation of our origin. He thought it diffi- 
cult to believe that man lived in a solitude of 
his own. He shares so much with other ani- 
mals, and, in structure, the ape is especially so 
like him, that it seems reasonable to suppose 
that the gulf might be bridged, and that human 
vanity must content itself with being at the 
head of the order of beings here, without claim- 
ing such a superiority as destroys the harmony 
of nature. This idea, he said, is not a new 
one, the ancients held it, giving us tales qf 
creatures intermediate between beast and man, 
but residing so far from observation as to be 
counted fable. 

Hanno, the Carthaginian, when on his famous 


voyage round the cape of Good Hope, saw such 
men of the woods, and he gave them the name 
of gorilla. My father said he had always 
hoped to meet a gorilla, or some of these wild 
men of the woods, that he might know if they 
were capable of understanding us, had an intel- 
ligence enough like ours to be able to make 
progress in thought and civilization. 

These ideas of my father went with me as I 
retired ; and in dreams, which were by no means 
unpleasant, I saw such a creature as my father 
longed for, receiving from him instruction, and 
sharing in his affection. 

There was much mystery, about this time, in 
the actions of Mr. Cudworth. He was evidently 
preparing additions to our comfort, for I could 
hear the sound of the saw and the hammer in 
the little leafy covert over our heads which he 
called his workshop, and which he said he had 
chosen so as not to disturb our tranquillity in 
the cave. And a day or two only had passed 
when, asking me to look after a net that he had 
contrived from cords, he took me a little way 
by the sea, and explained as he went the 
method of its making. He had bent a flexible 
sapling in a circle for the mouth of the net, and 
had placed some dazzling material, mingled with 


bait, at its bottom, which he kept nearly even 
with the water by means of a small sapling 
which he had made to incline by stones attached 
to it. The net was placed where the water was 
deeper than on the shore, owing to a crag which 
jutted into it. From this crag we could see, to 
our great content, fishes of good size moving 
about in the net, having been decoyed through 
the hoop by the brightness which always at- 
tracted them. Removing the cords from the 
tree to which the stones were attached, the 
sapling rose erect and placed at our feet a dozen 
beautiful fishes. I insisted on carrying some 
of them home, to which after readjusting the net, 
Cud worth consented. 

We were glad to give this surprise to our 
party who must weary of eating nothing but 
fruits and game. 

4 1 am sure you are tired,' he said, 'and you 
had better seat yourself while I clean and pre- 
pare the fish ; for we must keep our island-home 
as tidy as possible. Come and I will show you 

So saying, at no great distance from the cave, 
in a little hollow sheltered from the sun by over- 
arching boughs, up whose trunks the mimosa 
climbed, while orchids festooned their feet, 


a place I had already known and loved, and 
whither I used to withdraw, as Cudworth must 
have seen, with my books, or for meditation, to 
my infinite surprise and delight, I found at this 
favorite spot a large and comfortable form made 
of a pretty yellow wood. It was close-grained, 
and shaped with not a little care. Seeing my 
expression of pleasure, Cudworth said, c This 
is the jak-wood I have been hunting for ; and 
you are to have the first trial of its merits.' 

So I sate on the seat made for me, in a happy 
reverie, watching him at times, as,' at a little dis- 
tance, with stooping figure and skilful fingers, 
he prepared the fish. 

' As we have more than we want to-day,' he 
said, 4 1 shall let them drag in the water from 
a string to keep them sweet and fresh for future 

When he had finished, and I was relieved of 
my fatigue, as we went home, I thanked the 
mate for his kindness in thinking of me, and 
assured him it was the very prettiest form I had 
ever seen. 

4 Yes,' he said, 'the wood is much valued in 
the East, and in Ceylon the natives plant it 
about their dwellings. It takes a fine polish, 
and darkens with time, so as to resemble rnahog- 


any. But this poor work is nothing to what it 
shows when one has something more delicate 
by which to display its full beauty. Come, let 
me show you something better than that.' 

So the good kind man takes me, as we reached 
home, into the cave ; and just where I usually 
sit, and the light is softened of its glare, I found, 
placed upon a beautiful little table, my own dear 
familiar desk ! We had been inseparable till 
lately, and all my treasures were in it. Not 
only, dear Lady Betty, were there, nicely tied 
in a parcel, all your letters to me, but those 
foolish verses of mine which you were kind 
enough to praise, with a few wild-flowers from 
dear old England which had not wholly lost their 
scent or color ; but what, situated as I was, was 
almost better than all, plenty of ink, paper, and 
the materials for Avriting. 

4 1 suspected before, Mr. Cud worth, that you 
were a magician ; and here you have given me 
full proof of it.' 

4 It was not magic at all,' he said, ' that I 
observed your attachment to this little desk. 
Remembering your happy face when seated so 
often at it, was it not very natural that, among 
more homely objects, my boat should find room 
for this one ? ' 


As lie took it so easily, I forbore from fur- 
ther extravagance of praise ; but I am sure he 
saw how grateful I was. 

The next morning, after saluting my father, 
with, a book I wandered into the open air, and 
instinctively found myself beside my precious new 
bench. What was my surprise to see placed 
upon it some bananas, a cocoanut, and a pine- 
apple, all prettily covered with a slip of vine to 
which the flowers still adhered. 'And is Cud- 
worth turning sentimental,' I thought to my- 
self? ' This seems like the act of a lover. Ah 
no ! he is not foolish enough for that : it is only 
his considerate kindness which wishes by such 
things to enliven my island prison.' 

Still I thought it best not to question him, 
nor was there, when I returned home, any expres- 
sion in his face which betrayed that he had such 
an alarming secret. 

But every day after this, I found a repetition 
of this mysterious homage. The fruits were dif- 
ferent, but they were always excellent and ripe. 

I loved my little unavowed mystery, and sate 
complacently reading my book, while, from time 
to time, I would taste of a mango or a pine- 
apple. But the fourth day, thinking I heard a 
sound, I suddenly turned my head, and saw 


gliding between the trees behind me until it 
vanished, an unfamiliar figure. My first thought 
was that it was one of the sailors from the ship 
which had disappeared, and that perhaps, afraid 
of his reception, he had brought daily as an of- 
fering these fruits, in the hope to be permitted 
to stay with us. So, trying by a quiet approach 
not to alarm him, I followed after. I had not 
gone far when I saw a creature wholly unknown 
to me, which stood timidly, apparently to dis- 
cover if I threatened it any injury. 

Then I remembered what Congo and the mate 
had seen, and how their expressions of good-will 
had met with a friendly return. There was 
something very kind, yet very grave, in the ex- 
pression of the countenance of this creature. It 
made me brave enough to go close to it, and 
offer the fruit which by chance I held in my 
hand. It was accepted with an expression of 
pleasure ; and> while it was being eaten, eyes of 
much meaning and interest were fastened upon 
me. Then suddenly it fell upon its knees at my 
feet, and, touching the hem of my dress, kissed 
it gratefully. 

I then made to it a friendly gesture, and return- 
ing to the form beckoned it to follow. This it did, 
not without some show of alarm ; and while I 


sat, respectfully it stood at the bench's farther 
end. Though I tried by patting the bench with 
my hand, and imitating the act of one sitting 
upon it, I could not induce the animal to take 
the offered seat. As this made mutually our 
situation awkward, taking up my book, and mur- 
muring a few words of farewell, of course un- 
intelligible to my new acquaintance, I returned 
to the cave. 

On looking back, before the trees hid the fig- 
ure, I beheld it still standing in an attitude of 
respectful curiosity. 

After lunch, I privily told my father of all 
this, while taking him apart to one side. He 
was greatly interested, and said that unques- 
tionably this must be one of the inhabitants 
from the village which the mate had visited ; 
and, if so, he was really anxious to see the creat- 
ure and discover if there chanced to be any pos- 
sibility of instructing it, if it were capable of 
instruction. I told my father that, if he would 
come with me the following morning, I had little 
doubt that we should see it hovering about its 
gift of fruits to observe if they were noticed or 
enjoyed. He promised to do so, and I went to 
sleep with that hope of adventure so cherished 
by a young heart and brain, and which in our 
situation was so natural. 



The next day, to my surprise, I saw the creat- 
ure seated at the bench's end ; but it instantly 
rose and fled on beholding my father. It was 
not without solicitation of voice and gesture, 
that we induced it to return ; but at length it 
did, and even accommodated itself upon the 
bench, but with a look as if ready for flight. 
My father sat carefully by its side without seem- 
ing to observe it, after having shown his good 
will by friendly words whose meaning and tone 
no intelligence could misapprehend. He then 
quietly displayed, as if for ends of his own, his 
pocket-book, tracing with his pencil lines he 
had written there, and giving to each letter its 
appropriate sound. He exhibited from its inner- 
pocket a few coins and bank-notes, but still the 
timidity of his companion was not dissipated. 
But at last when he took out his repeater, and, 
after showing its face and the works within to 
the evidently admiring gaze of the stranger, he 
touched the spring which made a little carillon 
tinkle in the air, and then repeated the action 
while holding it to the ear of the friend he de- 


sired to win, the latter started up with a shrill 
cry of delight. 

After withholding it for a while with motions 
expressive of care in its treatment, he relin- 


quished the watch, while still holding the chain, 
to his visitor. Again and again turning it on 
every side, and examining the works, in the en- 
deavor to discover the secret of the activity 
within, he made signs that he desired to hear 
once more the music it contained, which my 
father, with a smile, willingly granted. After 
that, taking up each of the fruits in turn, my 
father caressed them, and then, holding them 
at arm's length, slowly repeated their names. 

After doing this two or three times, interroga- 
tively pausing to look into the face of his com- 
panion, he held each in turn close to him, again 
reiterating its name. To the satisfaction of both 
of us, after a few awkward attempts, his scholar 
succeeded in producing sounds which in a degree 
imitated those my father had made. 

This seemed a sufficient lesson for the first 
day. Therefore we both rose, and after divid- 
ing, as an encouragement, with his new pupil the 
fruits he had brought, we pointed in the direc- 
tion we were to go, saying, ' Good-by.' This 
sound was imitated better than those preceding, 
and so we took our leave. My father was much 
encouraged by his success ; and hoped, if these 
imitations of the human voice were not merely 
mechanical, to finally reach by them the in- 


telligence of the creature, and obtain thereby 
results which might prove a triumph indeed. 

The next day we were all busy with a project 
the mate had conceived of hoisting the British 
flag upon the highest point of the island acces- 
sible to us. Cudworth was quite equal to the 
occasion. He sacrificed an old sail which had 
worn so thin- that it could float in a gentle 
breeze, and had instructed me how, from the 
juice of berries which served as paint, to imitate 
the Union Jack. He, in the mean while, was 
busy with his axe in stripping a solitary tree 
upon the mountain's crest which should serve 
for our flag-staff. He ascended, not without 
difficulty, by the help of the branches, and then, 
stripping the tree of its topmost ones, he let fall 
a lanyard, so as to lower and hoist his flag at 
will. We could see from an open space near the 
camp the flag of England floating free to the 
breeze, and enjoyed the sight. My father re- 
marked that such an emblem was the sign of 
possession of the island. He therefore, in the 
name of Queen Anne, solemnly took possession 
of it, under the name of FORTUNA. 

All this was done at an early hour, and when 
it was over I hurried to my favorite nook and 
bench in the hope of finding my sylvan friend. 


He was nowhere visible, but had given the best 
proofs of his visit by a more ample gift of fruits 
and flowers than ever before. I thought per- 
haps he had sufficient intelligence to have dis- 
covered our occupation, and reason enough to 
suppose that it must involve our absence. 
This was corroborated the next day, when my 
father and myself took care to be early on the 
ground for fear of losing him altogether. In 
the midst of the heap of fruit he had brought, a 
little toy-flag was placed at the top, with suffi- 
cient resemblance to our own to lead me to infer 
that he thus expressed his notion of our ab- 
sence. We showed pleasure at the sight of it, 
and, taking it from the fruit, waved it in the air; 
and finally my father placed it in his button- 
hole, as if to express that the flag stood for us ; 
for the idea of country it was naturally impossi- 
ble for our visitor to understand. 

My good father was quite serious in his en- 
deavor to teach our mature scholar if possible. 
He selected, from a grammar one of the sailors 
chanced to have, the letters of the alphabet and 
words of one syllable. These he would pro- 
nounce in turn, marking upon the ground with 
his cane the form of each letter as he did so. 
Then, handing to his scholar the cane, he would 


by gestures invite him to do the same. After 
some blundering, he caught the idea, and with- 
out much difficulty succeeded in a suitable imi- 
tation. Then my father showed him the same 
letters in the book he had brought, and with 
pleasure he saw they were recognized. We 
had many misgivings that our attempt would 
be fruitless ; but fortunately /though the creat- 
ure had the inexperience of a child, its intelli- 
gence had the full stature of manhood. This 
made our task mote easv, and there was some- 

/ ' 

thing moreover of eagerness and pleasure in the 
expression of this savage which showed that he 
brought all his faculties to the task. If I may 
say so, his look and action implied a delight as 
if at the filling of a void which had been op- 
pressive. He seemed to feel that what we did 
was for his good, and would help to make us 
better friends. But it was many days before 
he had any clew to the connection between 
these signs and thought. My father would 
write the words which described some simple 
action, and then perform the act it repre- 
sented, at the same time slowly pronouncing 
the words which indicated it. Then, with the 
utmost alacrity, our intelligent pupil did the 

same ; and, this being repeated many times, the 
15 v 


words and the act were associated together in 
his memory. 

Nor did we confine ourselves simply to teach- 
ing. Having told all our party of our surpris- 
ing visitor, they took much interest in him, but 
forbore showing themselves till our companion- 
ship was better established. But we thought 
the mate's acquaintance with him indispensable 
to success ; and, coming as he did alone, there 
was small difficulty in accomplishing it. After 
that, Mr. Cudworth, with my father and myself, 
launched our boat, and invited ' Sylvain. ' to 
follow. My father had thought of this name 
for him, and had made him understand it to be 
his by placing his hand on my shoulder while 
speaking my name, and then doing the same by 
him and, saying ' Sylvain.' His enjoyment of 
the use of the oar, easily got by imitation of 
the mate, it was delightful to behold. He was 
strong and graceful, and really made a very 
respectable sailor ; but my father went farther 
than that, for he expressed discontent even with 
his best success. So one morning, having 
hinted to me of his plan, he persuaded the mate 
to find for him a complete suit of white, and a 
little sailor's hat ; having taken these to the 
place of rendezvous, the mate disrobed himself, 


and explaining how the clothes he had brought 
were to be used as well as he could, he then 
slowly resumed his garments. The poor fellow 
was very awkward in these unfamiliar weeds, 
but succeeded in doing as the mate did, and 
clothing himself from head to foot. He was 
then placed in the boat, and as he rowed, little 
inconvenienced by this summer suit, he saw by 
our expressions of satisfaction that we now con- 
sidered him a complete sailor, and no longer a 
wild man of the woods. As the awkward feel- 
ing wore away, we noticed in his carriage and 
bearing that look of pride which made us cer- 
tain that he accepted his outward resemblance to 
my father and the mate as a sign of progress. 
When our interviews were over, his clothes were 
taken from him, and carefully put in a dry place 
with a stone upon them ; for we knew that it 
would be impossible for him to return to his 
fellows thus clad without a commotion in the 
village which might do him harm. But he took 
care, every morning that he visited us, to take 
the dress from under the stone, and wear it in 
token that, so far as he knew how, he wished to 
be one of us. 

After some time, his progress was singularly 
rapid, as if the means of communicating his 


thought by speech and writing were something 
which the spirit within him had waited for ; and, 
as he succeeded in making himself understood, 
a new expression came into his face correspond- 
ing to the idea or the actions they expressed. 
Here was evidently a brain imprisoned and un- 
happy, now rejoicing in a freedom it had not 
known. We might have thought a benumbing 
spell had chained his faculties till now, so much 
did he express daily, not only of delight, but of 
respect and content in himself. 

My father, more fortunate than most enthusi- 
asts, had accomplished something which others 
would think impossible. He gave himself 
wholly to the pleasure of the task, and con- 
fessed to me privately that his zeal was inflamed 
by the hope of exhibiting to the rest of our 
party what no one before had accomplished, 
the training in speaking, and even reading, of a 
creature seemingly excluded from such benefits. 
In every way possible, my father encouraged 
and praised his scholar, making him understand 
how his study had brought him nearer to a level 
with ourselves, and fit for the companionship of 
Christian men and women. He showed Sylvain 
one day a stout knife of many blades, and ex- 
plained to him that it was a prize he should 


win if he passed a favorable examination before 
the friends who were with us. 

He was all attention, his eyes riveted upon 
the beautiful object whose use was explained to 
him. As he recited, the knife was placed in 
full sight, and whenever his eyes lifted from his 
task they were fixed longingly upon it. When 
my father thought his progress sufficient for 
the trial, he brought, one by one, each of our 
party near the bench, and placing them on the 
ground, after bidding them to abstain from any 
rudeness and to cheer each success with encour- 
agement, told Sylvain that his friends were 
ready. Certainly no scholar at Oxford or Cam- 
bridge ever had for the most brilliant display a 
result more satisfactory. As Sylvain first drew 
each letter of the alphabet upon the earth, and 
then gave it its appropriate sound, afterwards 
rising to the proper pronunciation of words in 
two syllables, and finally ascending still to the 
writing and utterance of whole sentences, the 
surprise which might be called amazement and 
their cheerful congratulations showed his vis- 
itors' content in the exhibition before them. 
When Sylvain had shown all he could do and 
the display was over, my father rising with 
much solemnity, in the name of all the learned 


professors present, handed him, with an en- 
couraging smile, the much coveted knife. 

The pleasure, visible in every motion, which 
Sylvain expressed at finding that knife secure 
in his pocket, made us think, that, mature as he 
was, he retained enough of the school-boy to 
share in what an English boy could so well un- 

The days now were pleasant, yet passed with 
a certain monotony. Fresh excursions into the 
interior were made, and our larder profited by 
them, and often the explorers brought back game 
and fruits which we had not procured before. 
But the aerial village of man-monkeys still 
remained the greatest wonder we could boast 
of. Its inhabitants established a certain rela- 
tion with us, and were no longer alarmed at our 
presence ; they sometimes made, as had Sylvain, 
excursions in our direction ; but this they did 
rarely, seeming still to share some undefinable 
fear. We supposed they might have heard the 
sound of our fire-arms and been terrified by it. 

My father's lessons to Sylvain continued with 
great regularity ; both teacher and pupil shared 
an enthusiasm justified by the progress that was 
made. Not many months had elapsed before 
Sylvain could converse in a way to be under- 


stood ; and, having a dictionary of words, we ex- 
plained them to him, and found no difficulty in 
making such words as described objects which 
he saw, or feelings which he felt, intelligible to 
him. Quite often, I shared as a spectator in his 
studies and recitals. His pleasure at my pres- 
ence was made evident in the most simple and 
natural manner. He showed me great defer- 
ence, and addressed to me the little phrases of 
compliment and respect which he had at his 
command. I confess, dear Lady Betty, that, 
coming as they did from a being who mentally 
was so much our own creation, I was touched 
and affected by these proofs of intelligence and 
friendship. One day, to the surprise and grati- 
fication of us both, he placed upon the form a 
miniature model of the boat in Avhich we some- 
times allowed him to go with us. It was very 
cleverly done, and manifested a skill in con- 
struction and imitation which we could not sup- 
pose he possessed. 

On another occasion, seeing we were pleased 
with this, he produced an ingenious repetition. 
in little, of one of the huts, with its platform, in 
which his companions resided. It was very 
amusing to witness him, with one leg crossed 
over the other in imitation of my father, ab- 



sorbed in a book which he held before his face 
as might any scholar of one of our universities. 
He looked neat and even handsome ; for we 
had taught him how to wash his clothes and 
keep them in good order. He even had con- 
trived out of some leaves and twigs to make a 
hat for himself with a wider rim than had the 
little sailor's hat we had given him. This pro- 
tected his head from the sun ; and, after that, he 
kept the other merely for excursions on the 
water. He took much interest in the fishing, 
and before we were up would secure those 
caught in the net, and had them ready prepared 
for breakfast. He was of much request, also, at 
the oar, and made several excursions with our 
party into the interior. The first time he heard 
the sound of a gun, he showed much terror, and 
ran away ; but, seeing that the rest were quite 
calm and collected, he returned, showing shame 
at the fright which lowered him in our eyes. It 
was only after he had made one or two excursions 
with our men that he dared to discharge the 
fowling-piece ; but, finding he was not hurt by 
it, he soon took much pleasure in the act, and 
his skill was so great that he rarely missed the 
object he aimed at. We explained to him the 
nature of the gun, and made him load his own 


piece, and clean it out with moss after the dis- 
charge. He never got over his surprise at see- 
ing fire come from the flint, but he carried and 
caressed his gun as if it were something, though 
unintelligible, which he was proud to be able to 
use. He knew the haunts of beasts and birds, 
and became, as a sportsman, a valuable addition 
to our number. We encouraged this diversion 
as well as that of rowing, knowing that this 
relaxation of the brain would be profitable to 
his studies ; for he displayed weariness when 
his lessons were protracted, as was natural for a 
brain so little accustomed to mental labor. 

My father began to notice something of un- 
easiness and depression in Sylvain, when I was 
not present at the usual lesson. He attributed 
it to the possible mortification he felt that I might 
be indifferent to his progress, or careless to wit- 
ness his continued advance. When I did ap- 
pear, his ardor was evident, and he began to 
look at me with something in his eyes which I nat- 
urally attributed to his desire that I should think 
of him, not only as a ripening scholar, but as 
one who was daily more nearly becoming my 
equal. His expression was a mingled one of 
pride and anxiety to please ; thought and study 
had so far humanized his aspect, that it seemed 


quite natural to forget his low estate, and trust 
a manhood which became pleasantly apparent. 
My father thought that he ruminated perhaps 
too much over his new acquisitions, and that 
thought bred in him that melancholy which 
seems inseparable from the gift of intelligence ; 
but it was not till fully three months had elapsed 
that we both recognized in him the dawn of 
something more than intelligence. 

After we had explained to him as well as we 
could what we knew and believed of God, that 
part of his being which had relation with rever- 
ence and faith suddenly expanded as a flower 
might after the chill of an arctic winter. We 
taught him to pray, which he did devoutly, with 
folded hands ; and, as he slowly spoke the words 
of that prayer our Lord has dictated to us, there 
came into his face such a look of awe and aspi- 
ration that my father exultingly whispered to 
me, ' He has found his soul ! I am sure he must 
have a soul.' 

Always, after that, he expressed in his coun- 
tenance, and even by his gestures, the gratitude 
he felt for the great gift we had made him. It 
was friendly, filial, reverential. He explained to 
us that he wished to know better what was 
written concerning the Deity. He would repeat 


after me, as I sang the words of a hymn, each of 
them in a slow chant, and as if measuring their 
meaning and importance. He never tired of 
entreating me for more, till I had exhausted my 
store of them. Those he loved best he got by 
heart, and at times repeated after he had prayed. 
This led me to think that the beauty of poetry 
might be within his reach. I recited lines from 
Mr. Milton and William Shakespeare which de- 
scribe the grandeur of external nature or the 
passionate intricacies of human feeling. He fol- 
lowed me as one rapt and inspired, and seemed 
peculiarly exhilarated by the lilt and measure of 
the verse. As it were, all the dumb feelings with 
which Nature had endowed him, all the agita- 
tion he had known in his narrow inner life, had 
found a voice. He was evidently a revelation 
to himself. He trod the earth, cadencing his 
step to the music in his mind, and as if he wore 
invisible wings. The abjectness, the grovelling, 
which belong to an unthinking animal had left 
him for ever: even when we but glanced at him 
between the trees, or saw him moving about, as 
he thought, without observation, there was an 
indefinable look of acquired manhood, which 
only became more plain as the days wore on. 
I no longer dealt with him as an animal, or a 


child ; for I felt conscious of a sense of reserve 
in myself which he seemed to understand. He 
also daily expressed a greater awe and respect 
for me, and a fear of betraying all he felt of 
kindness and regard for me. 

My dear cousin, you will notice that hence- 
forth I give you but few details of the adven- 
tures of our island life. Not that they were 
many; for day followed day only with a tropi- 
cal serenity. There were excursions by the men 
from time to time ; new regions of the island 
explored ; new fruits, new game, and new fish 
brought a change in our larder. But my mind, 
as well as my father's, was henceforth so occu- 
pied with the development of Sylvain that I 
cared for little else. 

Even if we try to imagine that he belonged 
to that selection of the tribe of apes from which 
as some have thought we ourselves have de- 
scended, Sylvain must be considered an excep- 
tional being. It would be hard to say which in 
him was predominant, his intelligence, his affec- 
tion, or his soul. It would have been impossi- 
ble, even without the relation he bore to us, not 
to feel deeply interested in this unfolding of his 
powers. From a stranger, an oddity of crea- 
tion, he became our friend. Between us, this 


attachment so absorbed us that, in view of his 
startling supremacy above the brute creation, 
we trembled for a life which had become so 
dear. It seemed contrary to nature, that he 
should retain the elevation he had reached, and 
yet live. We felt for him somewhat as a mother 
does when observing the too swift growth in 
goodness and intelligence of a darling child ; 
and, if harm should come to him through the 
training which had civilized his wildness, we 
felt that we were responsible for it. And though 
we encouraged every exercise of the body and 
its muscular powers, it was not very long be- 
fore our fears seemed on the point of justifying 
themselves. His eyes shone with a dangerous 
brilliancy and retreated in their orbits. His 
face became wan and thin, and his interest in 
the gun and oar visibly diminished. Alarmed 
at this, we cut short his lessons ; though we 
would not prevent his enjoyment of the books 
which we had given him, nor could we deny an 
indulgence in searching questions concerning 
the universe, the human soul, and its relation 
with its Maker. After listening to our answers, 
he fell at times into a mood so absorbed and 
pensive that he did not hear us when we spoke 
to him. When our voices recalled him from his 


reverie, lie turned towards us a face of such 
mournful significance that we repeatedly asked 
him of what he had been thinking. He stam- 
mered a confused reply, but we could only make 
out that he was struggling with some difficulty 
of thought or some claim of conscience. 

We began to fear that not only, through our 
well-meant efforts, his body was suffering, but 
that his mind was anxious and unhappy. My 
father considered it to be the lassitude follow- 
ing too much mental effort, and he organized 
a party, with which he took Sylvain, to follow 
round for some distance the circuit of the island. 
They took with them provisions and water, am- 
munition and guns, and did not return for sev- 
eral days. 

They had seen many strange and beautiful 
things, some of which they brought with them ; 
but alas ! the weakness and lassitude of Sylvain 
were only the more evident after their return. 

To brighten the melancholy of his life, we 
invented, in imitation of those at home, several 
games. Sylvain gratefully took his part in 
these, and at times manifested his old agility 
and strength ; but fatigue soon overtook him, 
and then he, desired to rest upon the bench 
which our interviews had made sacred for him. 


We again resumed in moderation his lessons, 
oftenest reading aloud to him from the Bible 


and the better poets. His eye kindled, his 
breast heaved, and a look of aspiration, which 
sickness only the better expressed, glowed in 
his features. I became so much concerned for 
his well-being that my nights were often sleep- 
less, while my thought toiled after the enigma 
of his cure. 

As no visible malady distressed him, it was 
idle to experiment with the little we had secured 
of medicine through the thoughtfulness of the 
mate. As he seemed the happiest in my society, 
and as gentle exercise might prove of the most 
benefit to him, I often walked with him along 
the shore, pausing to explain the beauty of the 
sunset above the sea, and where the golden 
light fell upon the rugged cliffs, and the trees 
which towered above them. This idea of beauty 
in nature, though wholly new to him, he was 
prepared for. At some point where, with sooth- 
ing murmur the billows broke upon the snowy 
shore in foam, and the distant headland swam 
in rosy light, he would stand like one en- 
chanted, and then slowly turning to me a face 
of pathetic devotion, extending to right and 
left his hands, murmur, 4 How beautiful ! it 


is God everywhere.' It almost pained me to 
hear him speak thus ; for it made me feel as if 
life were receding, and the soul, through the 
body's rents, communing more directly with 
nature and its Maker. And mingled with this 
look of adoration, at times there came into his 
face a twitch of pain, and a mournfulness which 
desired to find relief in tears. 

One day, observing this, I made him sit upon 
a bank beside me. I tried, though my heart was 
sore, to cheer him with words of encouragement 
and dissipate his grief. To call away from him- 
self his attention, I gathered a few orchids and 
climbing flowers of the vine ; and, taking from 
my hat a bit of ribbon, I bound them with it 
and gave them to him. I remarked upon the 
beauty of the flowers, their difference in form 
and color, adding, 'The Father, who gives these 
silent and needless creatures of his such grace 
and beauty, will not forget you, Sylvain, the 
nobler creature, which he not only has created, 
but lifted, through instruction, to a knowledge 
of himself.' 

A shudder, as of mingled ecstasy and anguish, 
shook him from head to foot ; and, with a cry as 
of one wounded to the death, he exclaimed, 

4 Yes, for Him I love them, and that He has 


thought of me. But oh ! for you, who have 
taught me to know myself and Him, what shall 
I say that I feel ; I cannot, I dare not.' 

Bending towards him, I said, ' You dare not ? 
What have you to conceal? What is there that 
I should not hear? Has my father or have I 
unintentionally wounded your feelings in any 
way ? If so, forgive us, for we never meant it.' 

4 Not that, not that ! ' cried Sylvain, twisting 
his body as if in pain, and wringing, with inter- 
locked fingers, his hands above his head. ' Any 
thing, death is better than that you should think 
me ungrateful, or that I have any thing to con- 
ceal but the too great gratitude, the too great 
love, I feel for you.' 

Something in the tones of wildness, something 
of passion and despair, made me involuntarily 
start to my feet. 

4 Ah ! do not leave me, do not hate me ; stay, 
I must tell you every thing,' he cried. i I know 
it is wrong ; I feel it should not be : but how 
could I help it ? You, so thoughtful and kind, 
are the one bright thing in my life, something 
supernatural which has deigned to visit me and 
draw me towards yourself. Can it be wicked 
that I should feel through every fibre of my 

heart your condescension, your kindness? If 



so, you are in fault at least, that to see you, to 
know you, must be to love you. You ask for 
my secret, and you have it. It shall die with 
me, and the confession of it shall never again 
wound your ear ; that you bear to hear it and 
do not fly, that I have the courage to say it, 
gives me a joy I did not think to know on earth. 
This gratitude, this adoring love, is not that 
which is killing me. It is that I know, that 1 
see, the gulf which I cannot pass yawning be- 
tween us. You have lifted me to your society, 
to your affection ; but that gulf even you cannot 
bid to disappear. It is my fate to carry a fire 
in my breast which must devour me. The life 
you have given destroys itself, for it cannot 
reach to your life. And I am happy in know- 
ing that I die, because I am lifted where life and 
love cannot exist together. What has a poor 
wanderer of the forest, a homeless brute whom 
you have made man without the privileges of 
one, to do in a world where he is not wanted ! 

4 Do not pity me too much, for I would not 
that either my life or my death should darken 
yours. You are my sun, and I the poor insect, 
happy to wither in your brightness, asking no 
better doom than to perish near you. 

4 1 do not ask you to say how much or in what 


way you love me ; for I know that such love as 
mine is not for you to share. I see in your face, 
in your eyes, its only substitute, a pity, a 
grief, which is more than I ask. Make no reply 
to the wild words of a dying creature ; but re- 
member them in your heart, and least of all do 
not let them turn to bitterness in your memory. 

4 Say nothing of this to your father. It is 
too foolish and too sacred, and might harm me 
if I so wounded his pride. It is between us and 
Him who fashioned me out of nothing, and gave 
to you that human heart, against which my own 
has dared to beat for a moment. 

' Of this again my lips shall never speak. I 
have only said already too much for your peace 
and my own. I am feverish, weak, and weary. 
Oh ! lead me back, that I may say farewell 
where I always do ; for now all is finished for 
me in this life : but I must not die here at your 

We returned to the cave in silence, where 
Sylvain, not without emotion, took leave of my 
father. Long after his feeble step, his drooping, 
hopeless figure had disappeared from notice, I 
stood gazing after him. A sense of a pain which 
had come into my life, an obligation to an infinite 
forgiveness and care, sobered my thoughts, and 


left me absorbed and helpless before the wonder 
of this strange trial. 

Sylvain did not return to us for many days. 
My father augured no good to his health from ' 
this. Only I, in the silence of my heart, felt the 
true reason, hardly daring even to think of it ; 
and condemned for the first time with my father 
to an unfilial reticence. 

' The poor fellow,' said my father, ' is too weak 
and ill to come the long distance from his vil- 
lage. Not only I am certain that he suffers for 
the loss of what we have taught him to enjoy but 
how, among his fellow-brutes, should he have 
that care and comfort which we, his new friends, 
could give him ? If he come again, as I am sure 
he will, we will prepare for him, near to our- 
selves, all the dwelling he needs, and Mr. Cud- 
worth shall see to it at once. I will have it like 
his own, and yet with something of the advan- 
tage he has seen in our habitation, and this may 
tempt him to stay. For his mind's and body's 
sake, it will be far better that he should be 
within reach of us and our help, rather than 
perish, if perish he must, among companions 
unworthy of him, and with whom his new 
thoughts meet no response.' 

Mr. Cudworth prepared not far from the scene 


of our lessons, and placed upon the bough of a 
tree quite near the ground, the hut which we 
hoped Sylvain might accept from us as his own. 
One morning, not long after this, as my father 
and myself were gazing, while seated upon Syl- 
vain's bench, without much hope, in the direc- 
tion of his village, we saw him, with timid and 
painful steps, and oh ! so wan and shadowy, 
advancing with difficulty toward us. We ran 
to meet him, and on either side sustained his 
drooping limbs. A strange look of peace and 
happiness flickered across his features as he said, 
4 Forgive me : is it not best so ? I have come to 
die among the only friends I know now, the only 
ones to whom I could address my parting words.' 

We drew him slowly to the form of jak-wood, 
and sate beside him as he rested there. His 
breathing was difficult, so that at first he spoke 
but little ; but after a while his eye brightened, 
his strength returned somewhat, and, taking one 
of our hands in each of his, he pressed them, 
saying with a smile, 

' Indeed, I could not live, I could not die 
among my kindred. You are my nearest and 
dearest ; and is it not best even that I should 
burden you with the presence of one whom you 
have made what he is ? ' 


We tried ah ! so vainly by smiles, ca- 
resses, and soothing words to dissipate the deep 
gloom which infolded his spirit. He smiled, 
indeed, in return, and spoke words pleasant to 
hear, but their natural sense was not in them. 
We both saw that he knew his doom, and he 
taught us to acquiesce in it as he had clone. 

When we showed him the little hut with its 
additions, which Cudworth had fashioned for 
him, he seemed entirely pleased. Turning his 
faded face to us, he said, 

' Always the same kind friends ! How happy 
I am that once again I am with you ! ' 

Dear Lady Betty, my falling tears prevent 
my seeing what I write ; and, if they did not, 
how could I deal out to you, pang by pang, 
what the slow days now brought to us ? It is 
riot well to lay bare for a stranger's eye the 
fibres of a heart which shrank before my own. 
There is a sacredness not only for the parting 
spirit, but in a love so strange, so impossible, 
that if I had not known it through the bitterest 
sympathy, I should have said it never on earth 
could be. No, I will not, drop by drop, measure 
the departing life. It would be too much for 
your interest in me and mine, too much for the 
sorrow which bowed me to the earth if I did so. 


Slowly, hourly, Sylvain was withdrawn from 
us. He faded like an exhalation into the forest, 
even as like one we had drawn him from it. 
Always unfaltering in his affection to us both, it 
now seemed equally divided between us. By 
not a word, by not a look, was he false to the 
promise he had made me of being silent for ever- 
more as to the love he bore ine. 

He liked to have us read to him from the 
Bible, and sing to him the hymns which had so 
delighted him when healthier and stronger. 
Then his face took on an expression which we 
both noticed. 

4 See, father,' I whispered, 4 this is our Syl- 
vain,. the man we have created, the soul which 
should be baptized. There is nothing there now 
of the wild thing of the woods : all that is left 
is ours, our own Sylvain.' 

My father was greatly agitated, and withdrew 
with me into a privacy beyond the hut. 

4 My dear child,' he said, ' you have touched 
a chord in me whose sound was already ringing 
in my ears. Through us, by our help, has been 
created a soul, perhaps immortal, and we have 
no right to send it darkling on its way without 
the hope a Christian feels in death. 

4 You have said the word " baptism ; ' and, 


though I am a magistrate only and no clergy- 
man, I think it right, the case is so wonderful, 
to assume the duty and privilege of one. To- 
morrow we will ascertain from Sylvain if he 
shares in our desire. If he does, the rite shall 
be accomplished.' 

The next day our poor patient and scholar 
was still worse ; so much so that my father feared 
that, unless he hastened the ceremony, Sylvain 
might leave us without its holy promises. 

When my father spoke of this to him, lying 
inert, and, as we feared, unheeding, before us, 
with a great cry he half-rose from his couch, and 
eagerly grasping our hands, exclaimed, 

4 The last of friendship, the last of earthly 
love, is now that with you both I should be 
baptized in Christ : in the heaven you tell me 
of we shall meet with equal souls, an equal 
birthright and an equal love.' 

As with failing voice he murmured the latter 
word, I thought he seemed pouring all the fervor 
of his dying soul, as from a cup, from his eyes 
into my own ; and then, with a look of infinite 
peace, he fell backward and was still. 

I cannot write of these things, dear cousin : 
the distress wounds me too much. Enough to 
say, the next day, amid tears and pra} r ers, the 


ceremony of baptism was accomplished ; then 
instantly a look of consecration and holy peace 
took possession of his features for the few days 
he remained on earth. 

Two days after the ceremony of baptism, 
Sylvain expired in my father's arms. It was 
great comfort to us to see that all our fellow- 
travellers shared sincerely in our grief ; for his 
intelligence, simplicity, and affection had en- 
deared him even to those who saw him but 

Cud worth had prepared a grave a little be- 
yond the form of jak-wood, placing a shapely 
head-stone before it. I made him prepare too a 
cross cut from the most enduring wood, and this 
I had put just within the head-stone. Upon 
the bench, the scene of Sylvain's mental progress, 
the place of so many happy hours, at my request 
Cudworth deeply carved the following words : 

Near tljts 23etufj 
Hit tfje &ematns of a Creature of tfje 2KEoo&s, 

om JFattfj anU Affection Itfteo to an Equalitg of 
jFrteutisfjtp tottfj fjts tfoo surbtbing 

Icabc tljfs ffficmovial 
their ffiSHott&er anfc tfyeir Ilobe. 



After this sad event, this great affliction, life 
was intolerable in our island. My father was 
already proposing that we should seek upon the 
shore another dwelling-place, removed from what 
brought by its sight so much grief to us all ; 
when, early on the second morning after Syl- 
vain's burial, we were all startled from our slum- 
bers by the clear and loud discharge of a 

Day was breaking, and, when we reached the 
shore, we could plainly see, riding proudly at 
anchor, the English ensign floating in the breeze, 
our own dear ship, the long-lost ' Monarch.' 

Soon the ship's boats were lowered ; and how 
my heart beat, dear Lady Betty, when I saw 
standing in the foremost one the manly figure 
of our excellent captain, I leave you to imagine. 
Soon the boats had reached the beach, and all 
who came we at once conducted to our cave. 
The captain much admired the skill and con- 
trivance of his mate, and said that, grievous as 
the loss of him had been to him, he was more 
than compensated for by the great utility he had 
been to us. 

On reviewing our stores and utensils of vari- 
ous sorts, the captain thought it wisest to leave 
them behind in the cave, as he was fully sup- 


plied, and they might perhaps be useful to any 
who should suffer the same fate as our own. 

You may be sure that I did not among these 
things include either my beautiful book-shelves 
or my precious desk and manuscript. Of the 
game and wild fowl, of which we had a fair 
quantity the captain took advantage, and or- 
dered them to be carried on board and added 
to the ship's supplies. 

On being questioned as to his disappearance, 
he said that his ship was violently torn from the 
reef by the tempest which had left us unharmed ; 
that, finding the vessel leaked considerably, he 
was obliged to put into an Indian port for re- 
pairs. Then Mr. St. Clair had taken advantage 
of this to reach his purposed destination by land. 
After this, he proceeded upon his voyage, took in 
his cargo as quickly as he could, being resolved 
to visit again, in the hope of finding us, our 
island, whose latitude and longitude he well 
knew. On approaching it from its eastern side, 
he had joyfully noticed the flag we had made 
flying from its mountain-crest. This gave him 
the greatest hopes of our safety ; and, though 
he had anchored early in the night, he had for- 
borne firing the cannon till there was sufficient 
light for us at once to profit by his arrival. 


We each in turn thanked him for his kind 
remembrance of us, and said we should prefer 
to return to our native land in the stout ship 
' Monarch,' than any that ever floated upon the 
seas. My father briefly narrated the sad story 
of Sylvain ; and the last thing we did before 
leaving the island was to visit his grave. 

All stood there in silence and wonder for 
a while, till, seeing the captain looking at his 
watch, after hastily plucking a few flowers 
which had already sprouted from the tropical 
mould, I leading the way, we all walked directly 
towards the boats. 

Our voyage home was uneventful and pleas- 
ant. The last thing I did while on board was 
to fold up and direct to you, my dear cousin, the 
manuscript in which I had described our strange 


Cambridge: Press of John Wilson & Son. 



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